Armed with little more than a mandate and modest budget, New Development Bank (NDB) president KV Kamath and four vice-presidents from Brics countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA) arrived in Shanghai in July 2015. Their task was to set up a new multilateral development bank from ground zero. I remember how daunting and intimidating it all seemed then. Outside the office window from our location in the financial district of Lujiazui, we could see a remarkable vista of skyscrapers hosting hundreds of financial institutions, symbolising the modern flavour of the fast-growing metropolis of Shanghai. Better resourced than most start-ups, for sure, but a start-up in all respects, we opened our doors with no staff, technology or systems. Today, as the Brics heads of state summit in Xiamen, China draws to a close, it is timely and appropriate to ask what the NDB has achieved so far, and what is next? Has the Brics star faded, as some critics suggest? Two years on, the bank has firml...

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