Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said yesterday that international institutions are failing to lift up the developing world and endorsed the creation of a new development bank to be run by five fast-rising nations.
Singh spoke at a summit of the so-called BRICS group — comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — aimed at harnessing the nations’ increasing global clout and forging stronger ties between their fast-growing economies.
The five countries represent 45 percent of the world’s population, one-quarter of its land mass and one-quarter of its economic output, valued at US$13.5 trillion.
Although the group has accomplished little of note at its three previous meetings, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff insisted in an opinion piece in the Times of India that it had changed “the axis of international politics.”
At the summit, the nations are expected to agree to do more business with each other in their local currencies, to help insulate them from US dollar fluctuations while lifting trade within the bloc from last year’s US$230 billion to US$500 billion by 2015.
They also hoped to move closer to creating a new development bank, much like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, saying such a new institution would streamline efforts to raise capital in poor nations and facilitate more business among themselves.
“Institutions of global political and economic governance created more than six decades ago have not kept pace with the changing world,” Singh told the summit.
In response, the BRICS countries are working to set up a bank funded and managed by them that would improve poor nations’ access to development funds and boost emerging economies, Singh said.
“Developing countries need access to capital,” he added.
The summit came as the Indian capital remained under a heavy security umbrella since a Tibetan exile lit himself on fire at an anti-China protest on Monday. He died from his burns on Wednesday.
Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) hotel was under virtual lockdown, while Tibetan neighborhoods were sealed, with police allowing people out only for medical or court appointments.
Hundreds of police manned barricades along roads throughout the city, some carrying blankets soaked in water to quickly smother the flames of any protesters who tried to set themselves alight.
Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said authorities had detained many Tibetan protesters in recent days, but would release most of them without charge in a few hours.