The Financial Services Working Group Report represents a selection of challenges and opportunities that affect the financial services sector in the BRICS nations. Members of the Working Group understood that the points for action raised in this report were a priority and should be regarded during the 2015-2016 BBC’s mandate.
The primary objective of the Working Group is to help government with recommendations regarding the NDB. This Working Group also works in partnership with the Infrastructure Working Group on fostering relevant think tank analysis. The Financial Services Working Group strongly supports the Brazilian proposal of a BBC Declaration on Investment Principles, and believes that here is still room to better understand our financial services Integration recent developments.
1. New Development Bank
The mission of the NDB is to promote development focused on the developing world. Therefore, the Financial Services Working Group and the Infrastructure Working Group considered important to define the concept of sustainable development. Both this concept and the idea of Integral Development Projects are aligned to the theme chosen for discussion at the Sixth BRICS Summit – “Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions”. The concepts were also important for the selection of priority projects, which could be supported by the NDB.
The Working Group understood that financing of infrastructure is an important way to promote sustainable development and to achieve the mission of the NDB. Thus, a set of concepts was proposed to help structure the bank, which was delivered on a separate document, called “Recommendations on the New Development Bank” (Annex X of this Second Annual Report).
2. Currency agreements
The Financial Services Working Group recommendation is to analyze, during 2015-2016, how the agreement involving the Ruble and the Renminbi are evolving on these countries, and use this experience to foster other FX agreements among the BRICS. Therefore, it is important:
- Research and learn what other existing FX agreements in place can provide as useful experiences;
- Work on a set of suggested activities which FX agreements can facilitate and accelerate, such as foreign investment in local investment funds, and international financing of infrastructure projects directly in the partner’s local currency.
3. Thought leadership
Sharing ideas and information among the business community is an important role of the BBC and its Working Groups. Therefore, the BRICS Information Sharing and Exchange Platform (the BRICS Portal) was created to stimulate and accelerate the exchange of trade, business and investment information.
To collaborate with this initiative, jointly with the Infrastructure Workgroup, the Financial Services Working Group also recommended the following topics regarding the BRICS Business Portal:
- Develop a series of web-based seminars to be presented and explained to other BRICS business partners, in order to foster adoption of the new platform;
- Implement an Infrastructure Companies Database, where information regarding the companies related to the Working Groups will be released;
- Implement an Infrastructure Project Database dedicated to interested investors, where relevant information about priority projects will be released;
- Implement an Exclusive Members Session on the website, where only the Working Groups and the BBC members will be able to login, in order to share information and documents: (i) provide an administrator login and password for each Chairman and Chairman Representative, who will be responsible for uploading documents, scheduling meetings and posting relevant information online; and (ii) provide a member login and password for each Working Group member, who will be able to consult the information released; and
- Publish basic information about other BRICS related entities and class associations: (i) provide links for the countries institutions’ websites; and
- Ensure that the registered institutions have an English version of their websites.
4. General achievements
In addition to the three main topics pointed above, the Financial Services Working Group also sought to address general deliverables through the 2015-2016 mandate. The Working Group considered fundamental to foster the adoption of the BBC Declaration of Investment Principles, which is considered an important step in enhancing the confidence building process within the BRICS economies.