The total value of investment projects approved by the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has exceeded $10 billion, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“Building up strategic partnerships within BRICS is one of the priorities for Russia’s foreign policy,” Lavrov said in an interview with the National Institute of Information of Suriname.

According to him, the economy remains an integral part of the BRICS partnership, “particularly since the BRICS association surpassed the Group of Seven (G7) in terms of aggregate economic power.”

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“The successfully operating New Development Bank has already approved investment projects worth more than $10 billion. The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement designed to help maintain the financial stability of the group’s five countries is also functioning effectively,” Lavrov said.

The Shanghai-based NDB, which was established in 2014, provides funding for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging economies. With capital of up to $100 billion, it aims to continue issuing financial products denominated in the local currencies of its member countries – China, Russia, Brazil, India, and South Africa.

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The five-nation bloc represents more than 40 percent of the world’s population. Its member countries have a combined nominal GDP of $18.6 trillion, which is about 23 percent of the world’s gross product.

According to International Monetary Fund estimates, they have been responsible for more than half of the global economic growth over the last decade.

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