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BRICS New Development Bank to open Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg in March

CAPE TOWN, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) will open its Africa Regional Centre in Johannesburg next month, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

South Africa's first instalment of two billion rand (about 132 million US dollars) was paid in December last year, and the budget makes provision for SA's further commitments over the medium term, Gordhan said in his 2016 budget speech in Parliament.

"This initiative gives impetus to our role as a financial centre for Africa, and will facilitate access to global finance by African investors and institutions," Gordhan said

"So the capacity to mobilise finance is in place. Amendments to bank regulations are proposed, furthermore, which will facilitate lending for long-term infrastructure investment," he added.

The BRICS countries include the world's major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The group launched the multi-billion U.S. dollar development bank at the 7th BRICS summit held in the Russian city of Ufa in July last year amid efforts to finance infrastructure projects, mainly in BRICS member countries.

The NDB, headquartered in Chinese metropolis Shanghai, intends to supplement the existing international financial system in a healthy way and explore innovations in governance models.

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