The proposed BRICS Development Bank involving India and four other member countries could be launched during the grouping's summit in South Africa next year, a minister in Johannesburg has said.
"We are keenly watching the possibility that the BRICS Development Bank will be born here" next year, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said at a meeting of the ruling ANC's Progressive Business Forum.
BRICS is an association of five emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The Brics Development Bank was mooted at a summit in New Delhi in March this year as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund.
Nkoane-Mashabane's colleague Rob Davies, Trade and Industry Minister, said: "a considerable amount of work (in this regard) would be done by next year when we host the summit".
Nomaxabiso Majokweni, chief executive of Business Unity SA (BUSA), said at the same meeting that the BRICS Development Bank would help South Africa speed up its infrastructure programme.
"An immediate benefit for South Africa will be a massive injection in our infrastructure development plan, which could help government to meet some of its very ambitious growth targets," Majokweni said.
"The BRICS bank will promote growth and investment in its member states and other emerging markets, and will be a strong voice in the lobbying for the reform of international financial institutions," Majokweni added.
The comments on the BRICS bank launch came even as the Southern African Development Community indicated that it wanted to establish another development bank for the region, which includes South Africa.
SADC deputy executive secretary Joao Samuel Caholo said a proposal for an SADC development bank is likely to get final approval at the SADC heads of state meeting in August.