Zoellick backs BRICS development bank plan

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 31 2012, 09:27am hrs
Outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick on Friday supported the efforts of the BRICS economies to set up a development bank, saying the Washington-headquartered institution will work with the new body.

Zoellick, however, was less forthcoming in his support to leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the BRICS economies) that have refused to snap ties with Iran which is facing US sanctions for its nuclear enrichment programme. Zoellick suggested at a press briefing in the capital that the US sanctions should not be seen away from the security concerns about nuclear proliferation that has precipitated the trade restrictions on the Islamic Republic. Zoellick, now on a five-day tour to India, also pitched for support from the developing world for the US candidate for his successor, Jim Yong Kin.

The BRICS member countries had in a strongly worded statement on Thursday, refused to snap ties with Iran. Zoellick said,As far as (US) sanctions are concerned, you cannot separate it from security concerns rising from its nuclear activity. He added that international oil market is expected to remain volatile for sometime and that the emerging economies will have to deal with it.

On the concern expressed by emerging economies about the fiscal and monetary prudence needed by the western economies, Zoellick said that without the structural reforms needed on employment and other key sectors, the monetary policy steps taken by the US and other developed economies will not result in stronger growth.

Developing nations have emphasised the need for more responsible macroeconomic and financial policies by the advanced economies in order to avoid creating excessive global liquidity. They have also emphasised on the need for structural reforms to create more jobs.

Zoellick, whose term at the World Bank ends in June this year, said that it is important for US candidates to get leadership roles in international institutions if the world wants to keep Washington supporting them.

After Zoellick announced he would step down, some developing countries appealed for an end to the US hold on the top job at the Bank.

India, Brazil to form six working groups on trade

India and Brazil are set to constitute six working groups to strengthen the bilateral trade and economic relations between the two nations. These six groups will be constituted in the areas of pharma, mining, services, infrastructure and food processing, said commerce minister Anand Sharma after meeting Brazils President Dilma Rousseff. Indian pharma companies will make available affordable drugs for the people of the developing world. In the true spirit of South-South cooperation India is committed to provide low cost affordable medicines to the poorest of the poor, Rousseff, who is on her maiden visit to India, said: There was a need to revitalise forums and make them a regular feature to enhance and expand bilateral ties between the two nations.