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India likely to get BRICS Bank presidency
* Each member country to have equal shareholding
* Bank may be headquartered in Shanghai

Fortaleza, July 15
The BRICS summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first multilateral engagement, commenced here on Tuesday amid an understanding that the five member nations will have equal shareholding in the proposed $50 billion BRICS Development Bank presidency of which is likely to go to India first.

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.

The Prime Minister 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.

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 $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.

Earlier in the day, Modi today met Chinese President Xi Jinping here and pressed for a solution to the boundary question, saying if the two sides could amicably resolve the vexed issue, it would set an example for the world on peaceful conflict resolution.

The two leaders, who arrived almost at the same time in Brazil last evening to attend the BRICS Summit, engaged shortly thereafter for what was described as "good discussions and good meeting".

The meeting - first between the two leaders - was scheduled for 40 minutes, but it went on for 80 minutes as it was a free-wheeling discussion without any constraints.

"Had a very fruitful meeting with Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping. We discussed a wide range of issues," Modi tweeted after the meeting with Xi, also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China.

"Both sides emphasised on the need to find a solution to the boundary question. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of strengthening mutual trust and confidence, and maintaining peace and tranquility on the border," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.

Prime Minister Modi told Xi: "If India and China could amicably resolve the boundary question, it would set an example for the entire world on peaceful conflict resolution," the statement added.

The two sides have held 17 rounds of the special representative talks aimed at resolving the boundary issue. India asserts that the border dispute covered nearly 4,057-km long Line of Actual Control, while China claims that it confined to about 2,000 km to the area of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers as Southern Tibet.

During the meeting, Modi also suggested the addition of one more route for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet, keeping in view the terrain difficulties.

President Xi "accepted this as a suggestion for consideration," the statement said.

The yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet under arduous conditions.

The two leaders appeared well prepared for the meeting as both of them referred to the statements made by the other before they assumed power, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters.

"If I were to try and summarise what this meeting could be, perhaps I could do so in the sentence -- 'Baat bhi achhi hui, mulaqaat bhi achhi hui' (They had good discussions and good meeting). That in sum and substance summarises the 80-minute meeting," he said.

"It was a meeting in which President Xi said he acknowledged Prime Minister's deep understanding of the bilateral relationship," Akbaruddin said.

In a significant development, China invited India to attend a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in November. APEC is a forum for 21 countries that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. PTI

Modi meets Chinese Prez

  • Talks between the two leaders centred around bilateral relations, regional and international matters
  • President Xi underscored the importance of the bilateral relationship
  • The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the high momentum of bilateral engagement during the past few weeks.

The agreement towards setting up BRICS New Development Bank is a significant step. I am happy the initiative announced at the BRICS Summit in New Delhi has become a reality.

Narendra Modi





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