Honduras makes official request to join BRICS-led NDB
Honduras President Xiomara Castro is on a 6-day visit to China in which she has already made a request to join the New Development Bank.
Honduras President Xiomara Castro has officially requested her country's membership in the New Development Bank (NDB), which is led by the BRICS nations.
This request was made during a meeting with NDB President Dilma Rousseff as part of President Castro's current six-day official visit to China. The visit marks her first trip since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Honduras and China on March 26, following Honduras' severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
President Castro received a warm welcome upon her arrival in Shanghai, where the Shanghai Old Jazz Band performed a Honduran song that was previously played during her presidential inauguration in January 2022. As part of her schedule in Shanghai, President Castro visited several institutions, including the headquarters of the BRICS New Development Bank.
Later, President Castro will travel to Beijing for a "historic meeting" with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, according to an announcement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry earlier in the week, emphasizing the joint planning of future bilateral ties between the two countries.
During President Castro's visit, Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina, who is accompanying the delegation, mentioned that various memoranda, documents, and framework agreements will be signed. This visit underscores the Honduran government's commitment to fostering mutually beneficial cooperation with China.
In Shanghai, the Honduran head of state met with Chen Jining, the city's Party secretary, to discuss strengthening cooperation in areas such as trade, culture, and tourism. Honduran enterprises were warmly invited to invest in Shanghai, highlighting the potential for increased collaboration.
NDB looks to expand memberships
Earlier, Saudi Arabia and Argentina were reported to have shown interest in joining the NDB, which is looking to bring in funds after it was forced to freeze Russia's $1.7 billion or 6.7% of total assets in order to avoid Western sanctions.
In an interview for the Financial Times, the director-general of the NDB's independent evaluation office, Ashwani Muthoo, said, "The most important thing at the moment" for the bank is securing funds for the bank as it is "struggling to mobilize resources."
Honduras could take the lead ahead of other countries after its President submitted an official request to join, setting it up to be the financial institution's 10th member.
The alternative bank to Western financial institutions was established in 2015 and hosts stakes from Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bangladesh, which mainly fund developmental and infrastructural projects in economies of the Global South. The NDB has financed over 96 projects valued at more than $33 billion.