|A group of 5 countries has launched its own development bank to challenge the US-dominated World Bank and IMF. Leaders from the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China & S Africa) unveiled the New Development Bank at a summit in the Brazil last month. The bank will be headquartered in Shanghai. Together, BRICS countries account for 25% of global GDP and 40% of the world's population, compared to 20% of GDP and 5% of population for the US share. Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia U and the World Bank's former chief economist says: 'This is important in many ways. It is helping to finance infrastructure, adaptation to climate change - all the needs that are so evident in the poorest countries. It [also] reflects a fundamental change in global economic and political power. We're in a different world, but the institutions have not kept up.'
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