India to preside BRICS bank, headquartered in Shanghai

China is likely to get its way on having the BRICS bank headquartered in Shanghai while India, which wanted it based in New Delhi, will have to settle for a first shot at its presidency.

This was the indication as hectic negotiations over the joint development bank, which aims to challenge western dominance over global finances, continued Tuesday. It came in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi starting his first multilateral engagement with a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza.

Indian sources said there was an understanding that each country would have a shareholding of $10 billion in the bank, which will have a rotational five-year presidency. Negotiations to create the bank have dragged on for more than two years with Brazil and India fighting Chinese attempts to get a bigger share in the lender.

Just three hours after his arrival in Brazil for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, Modi and Xi spoke for 80 minutes — overshooting the scheduled 40 minutes — on a range of issues, including the boundary issue. In a significant move, Xi invited Modi to the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting being hosted by China in November. India has never attended an APEC summit, though it has long sought to become a member.

“This is the first time India has been invited to an APEC meeting. We take this as a very serious and important invitation,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

There were also indications from the Chinese side that it would support full membership for India in the regional grouping of the Shanghazi Cooperation Organisation. “The Chinese President mentioned that he looked forward to India working more deeply with the SCO,” the spokesperson added.

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