Friday, Oct 31, 2014

BRICS joint forex action not discussed but ‘worth thinking about': India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President, Xi Jinping, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff and South African President, Jacob Zuma during 6th BRICS summit. (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President, Xi Jinping, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff and South African President, Jacob Zuma during 6th BRICS summit. (PTI)
Reuters | Brazil | Posted: July 16, 2014 10:19 am | Updated: July 16, 2014 10:23 am

The five BRICS countries have not discussed coordinated forex intervention in global markets, but it is an idea “worth thinking about,” India’s central bank deputy governor Urjit Patel told Reuters on Tuesday.

The leaders of the five top emerging market economies agreed on Tuesday on a landmark deal to create a $100 billion development bank and a reserves fund of the same size to challenge Western dominance over global finances.

While the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have begun to flex their muscles on the world economic stage, they have yet to achieve the policy coordination of leading industrialized nations in the G7.

Asked if the BRICS could at some point jointly intervene in forex markets to ease turbulence, Patel said it “is a point worth thinking about, but it has not been discussed.”

Patel said the new fund, known as the Contingent Reserves Arrangement or CRA, could include non-BRICS nations. The CRA, designed to help members deal with balance of payment problems, will “provide an extra bit of comfort” to emerging nations, he added.

“I think is an important signal that BRICS countries are willing to take the lead in changing the way we think about the financial architecture of the world,” said Patel on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in the coastal city of Fortaleza.

The two new institutions are the first major achievement of the BRICS countries since they started working together in 2009 to press for a bigger say in the global financial order created by Western powers and centered on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Patel said he does not expect quick ratification by the U.S. Congress of reforms to the IMF that would increase the weight of emerging nations in the global lender.

Emerging nations have discussed delinking the quotas from the governance reforms to facilitate its passage. However, he said India does not support that approach and wants complete approval of the reforms package.

“India’s position is that we are not in favor of delinking because then you lose the momentum for fundamental change that is required in these institutions,” he said.

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