Fortaleza (Brazil): The BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first multilateral engagement, commenced here today amid an understanding that the five member nations will have equal shareholding in the proposed USD 50 billion BRICS Development Bank presidency of which is likely to go to India first.
The new Indian leader joined Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil at the grouping's sixth summit at this seaside Brazilian city to deliberate on global economic, political and strategic issues.
The bank's headquarters is likely to be located in Shanghai, China's financial hub, although India was pressing for New Delhi. However, the first rotational presidency of the bank is likely to go to India.
Modi, wearing a light maroon bandh gala suit, was received at the Convention Centre by Rousseff with a warm handshake. The two chatted briefly before posing for photos. The day-long summit began with a private working session which will be followed by a working lunch and a preliminary session. A Fortaleza Declaration containing the outcome of the meeting is expected to be issued at the end of it.
Working behind the scenes, senior officials from member countries had prepared the ground for their leaders to agree on details of the bank which will finance infrastructure and development projects in BRICS nations.
Indian sources said that there was an understanding that each country would have a shareholding of USD 10 billion. India had been insisting that the shareholding should be equal so that no one country dominates as was the case of institutions like the World Bank and the IMF where the US and Japan enjoy considerable clout.