Venezuela: First Council of Banco del Sur Ministers Held in Caracas

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Signing of Banco del Sur's founding agreement in 2009 (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Signing of Banco del Sur’s founding agreement in 2009 (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Economy ministers of member countries of Banco del Sur are meeting today in Caracas to define the operational details and implementation of this financial institution – a new regional funding entity independent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Hernán Lorenzino, the minister of economy and public finance of Argentina, Luis Arce, Bolivian minister of economy and Carlos Marcio Cozendey, secretary of international affairs at the Brazilian ministry of finance, have already arrived to the Venezuelan capital.

Paraguay is the only country that has not confirmed the attendance of any representative at the meeting.

Ministers are expected to establish a ‘start date’, when each country will have to make its contribution to the newly founded institution. As a full member and founder, Argentina will provide US$400 million to Banco del Sur.

Days ago, Ricardo Patiño, Ecuadorian foreign affairs minister, had stated that the new bank “can be used to bail out a country, small or big, and meanwhile not have to submit to the dictates and conditions of the IMF.”

Banco del Sur is a result of an initiative by the late leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and was formalised in February 2007 when he and then Argentine president Néstor Kirchner signed a memorandum of creation, which also included Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay.

The South American financial institution aims to promote development, economic growth and improvement of infrastructure in all member countries.

The entity’s constitutive agreement establishes that Banco del Sur will have US$20bn of authorised resources and subscribed capital of US$10 billion, with US$7 billion in initial contributions by partner countries. A member contributes according to the capacity of its economy.

The headquarters of Banco del Sur which began preliminary operations on 3rd June is in Caracas, but also has offices in Buenos Aires and La Paz.

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