In the fall of 2013, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) endowed a development bank with an initial USD 50 billion. This bank is designed to meet the financing needs of emerging and developing nations, within and outside the five BRICS states, especially as related to infrastructure projects such as roads, port facilities, and reliable power and rail services. Together with a foreign exchange reserve pool of USD 100
billion and a virtual secretariat for better coordination of global affairs, the bank forms a capital structure that aims to reduce the reliance of BRICS countries on Western financial institutions.

These are the first concrete steps toward institutionalizing the BRICS forum, which has until now been mainly informal. As such, they merit critical reflection, especially by policymakers involved in planning the post-2015 development agenda. This policy brief explains why this bloc of emerging markets established a development bank and discusses how the envisaged institution may affect global governance. It also introduces recommendations for policymakers who work on the post-2015 agenda and seek to craft a tailored response to the proposed BRICS measures.

Jill Coster van Voorhout, MSc, LL.M is a Researcher at The Hague Institute for Global Justice under the Rule of Law Program. Dr. Thorsten Wetzling is Senior Researcher Fellow at the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security in Potsdam, Germany. Previously, he worked as a Senior Researcher at The Hague Institute for Global Justice under the Global Governance Program.

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