He made the remarks after discussing the issue with his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. At their March summit in the South African city of Durban, leaders of the BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- failed to launch the much-anticipated bank.

Instead of a USD 50 billion fund, the leaders agreed only that the initial capital contribution would be substantial and sufficient for the bank to be effective. "There was an agreement to establish such a bank. Our ministries of finance are busy with the final modalities because the viability has been checked, even economists from the World Bank have come out to say there is space for such a bank," Nkoana-Mashabane said.

The proposed bank is meant to rival Western-dominated institutions like the World Bank. Key sticking points included how projects would be distributed and where the bank would be based.


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