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Bond, Patrick (2013) The BRICS Bank and Shifts in Multilateral Finance: A view from South Africa. 'Rising Powers' workshop, Fudan University, Shanghai, 12 September : -.

The repeatedly-announced $50 billion BRICS Bank and $100 billion Contingent Reserve Arrangement are anticipated to challenge the Bretton Woods Institutions as institutions of South-South cooperation. But the question of whether these strategies are profoundly different from – or instead reinforcing of – the multilateral financial status quo remains to be answered. South Africa’s role in multilateral finance and especially in encouraging renewed extractive-based accumulation in Africa is revealing. After 1994, a new era of post-apartheid foreign policy was to have begun, but a great many residual habits continued, including Pretoria’s self-interested geopolitical activity elsewhere on the continent – mainly on behalf of Johannesburg capital – and subservience to larger powers intent on the exploitation of the African continent via a South African ‘gateway’. As for the BRICS Bank, precedents are not only the Bretton Woods Institutions, which some BRICS finance ministers say they aim to avoid, but also the countries’ own development finance institutions. The BRICS seem to need a bank to assure expedited extraction of Africa’s minerals, petroleum, gas and cash crops, raising further questions about how different their pro-corporate economic growth model is from the West’s.

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