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Why a BRICS 'world bank' may be welcome

The so-called BRICS 'club' of nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa – plan to start a development bank to rival the World Bank. This challenge to the Western-driven liberal order relies to a large part on that order.

By the Monitor's Editorial Board / March 27, 2013

Five nations, which together have nearly half the world’s population, agreed Wednesday to set up a development bank that could easily rival the World Bank. If they succeed, it will mark a serious attempt by this group to redefine the values that humanity shares.

The “club” of the so-called BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa – was started only four years ago. The new bank, which aims to loan or grant $4.5 trillion to poor countries, would be their first concrete step to challenge many of the international norms put in place after World War II, largely by the United States.

They’ve long resented the residual influence of Western countries at many other international organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Such multilateral bodies have helped create a “liberal order” for the world, promoting free markets and democratic governance in the way they provide economic assistance or agree on rules for commerce.

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