China has begun construction of headquarters for the new BRICS New Development Bank, NDB, in Shanghai, marking its inauguration with a groundbreaking ceremony.
The ceremony took place in the World Expo Park in the heart of the city, which is China’s financial center and a global financial hub. A 30-floor building is expected to be built on a 31-acre parcel of land with a capacity of 2,500 people.
Chinese Finance Minister Xiao Jie and NDB President Kundapur Vaman Kamath delivered opening remarks just before the start of the ceremony.
“As the founding member and an important shareholder of New Development Bank, China will actively continue to support New Development Bank for stronger growth. As the host country of New Development Bank, we will continue to provide world class convenience and support for the successful operation of New Development Bank,” Xiao said.
Launched in 2015 as an alternative to the World Bank, the DNB aims to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects both within the BRICS group of countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — and other emerging economies.
The NDB Board of Directors approved four infrastructure and sustainable development projects in China, India and Russia on Wednesday, with loans aggregating over US$1.4 billion.
Speaking at the second NDB-BRICS Business Council Dialogue in Shanghai, ahead of a Sept. 3-5 BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian province in East China, President K.V. Kamath said the bank has operated smoothly over the last two years.
The NDB approved loans totaling US$1.5 billion in 2016 and will make US$2.5 billion in loans this year. To date, it has invested in 11 projects, according to Kamath.
"We will be only lending on a sovereign basis, maybe for little bit more time, till possibly late this year," Kamath said, adding that it will expand its loan operations to the private sector next year.
According to NDB’s five-year plan released in July, it will expand and increase its development and infrastructure programs to 75 by 2021.
The bank also plans more regional offices worldwide. The first regional office is being established in the South African city of Johannesburg and then in Brazil, India and Russia.