SHANGHAI, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between the five BRICS countries will be strengthened during Chinese presidency over the bloc in 2017, said BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) president K.V. Kamath.
Kamath made the comment in an interview with Xinhua at NDB headquarters in Shanghai on Friday.
This year opens the second decade of the emerging-market bloc which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. China will host the ninth BRICS leaders' summit in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen in September.
Kamath, a native of Mangalore, India, said he is looking forward to showing BRICS leaders the progress that the bank has made.
"Importantly, the summit comes at a time when you can clearly see the five countries establishing themselves as an economic force," noted Kamath.
He said he believes the Xiamen summit will let people know where the BRICS countries stand today, their current agenda and "how we could benefit by working in a cooperative manner."
Founded by the five BRICS countries in 2014, the NDB opened in Shanghai in July 2015.
"The Chinese government has been very hospitable toward the NDB, enabling us to set up and operate the bank in a very short time," said Kamath.
"All of these would not have been possible without the support and guidance we received from China," he said.
In December 2016, the NDB signed its first loan agreement, providing 525 million yuan (76 million U.S. dollars) for a solar power project in Shanghai.
Kamath is pleased with the result, saying "the fact we were able to appraise our first project in a record time has set a new benchmark for the NDB to follow."
Last year, the NDB issued three billion yuan worth of five-year green bonds, its first bond to raise funds worldwide for clean energy projects.