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​Jozi to house Brics bank, predicts Bismilla

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Brics
The New Development Bank, previously known as the Brics Development Bank, will have its South African chapter based in Johannesburg.

This was the bold prediction by Dr Refik Bismilla, the City’s Executive Director of Health, at a function to welcome a high-profile delegation from Shanghai, China, that is visiting Johannesburg to explore issues of healthcare cooperation between the two cities.

Dr Bismilla said he was excited about the South-South relations that were developing and growing every day and that, barring a miracle, the new New Development Bank would be situated in Johannesburg. “We are excited about the Brics’ New Development Bank ... We are looking forward to having a Brics’ bank in Johannesburg,” he told the delegation.

Dr Bismilla’s remarks come in the wake of a Brics summit being currently held in the Russian city of Ufa, where the £100-billion bank was launched. President Jacob Zuma is attending the summit. The bank intends to bring about change in the way multilateral banks function and is widely seen as a rival to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai, China.

The Shanghai delegation on a two-day visit to Johannesburg is led by Han Weijun, the Deputy Director-General of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Healthcare. Shanghai is well-known for its excellent medical facilities in mainland China. The city, though, has a major pollution challenge, which far exceeds acceptable international standards.

Apart from the growing number of HIV-Aids infections, the city also faces the challenge of winter influenza and Hepatitis A via contaminated water and shellfish.