WHY NOT TURN TO TRUMP? Bolsonaro relies on BRICS Bank for infrastructure projects

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BRASILIA – Environment Minister Ricardo Salles continues to negotiate a $500 million loan with the BRICS New Development Bank, the NDB.

The funds will be passed on to Brazilian municipalities to carry out sanitation, waste treatment and renewable energy works. The contribution should occur early next year, reported Brazil Agency.

“The work now is to study the best way of immediate implementation of the resource, whether it is the transfer to consortia of municipalities, individual municipalities or assemblies of waste disposal structures made by the federal government in partnerships with the municipalities,” said Ricardo Salles.

The Environment Minister attended a meeting this week in Sao Paulo with environment ministers of the bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, in the framework of preparations for the BRICS summit, which will will be headquartered in November in the country’s capital.

The contribution comes after Germany cuts funds that would be passed on to the Amazon Fund, an environmental preservation initiative that also relies on money from Norway. Berlin claims that the measure was taken on account of current Brazilian environmental policy .

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Environment Minister Ricardo Salles told O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper that the funds Brazil will receive from the NBD will be with “practically zero” interest.

Created in 2015 during the BRICS summit, a group formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the BND is headquartered in Shanghai, China, and is expected to win an office in Sao Paulo later this year. With a subscribed capital of $50 billion, the bank provides loans to the bloc’s countries, but can also lend to other developing countries.

In addition to the $500 million that will be loaned by the BND, Brazil is studying how much it will invest out of its pocket to complement the project of the waste treatment improvement program.

According to data from the Brazilian Association of Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies, Brazil has 3,000 open dumps.

BRICS expert and PUC-Rio International Relations professor Paulo Wrobel states that “the Amazon has an international visibility for obvious issues,” but points out that Brazil has a number of environmental issues.

“Our main shortcoming is in infrastructure, urban sanitation and sanitation in general, environment, alternative energy [these are areas that need improvement],” Wrobel said.

Among BRICS members, Brazil ($621 million) is the country that has the least resources on NBD-authorized loans. The data are from 2018 and, therefore, do not account for the newest $500 million investment that is designed. China ($2.75 billion) tops the list with the largest onlending, followed by India ($2.55 billion), Russia ($1.46 billion) and South Africa ($680) millions).

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