The BRICS-backed New Development Bank (NDB) has invested in seven projects totalling $1.5 billion in about two years of its operation, the bank President, K V Kamath, said today.

“We began operations in July 2015 and since then, NDB has come a long way. The focus was to build the foundation of NDB, we focussed on green and environmentally sustainable projects. Seven projects have been done so far which aggregate around $1.5 billion. Six of them are in the renewable energy sector and one in transport financing,” he said.

Addressing the second annual meeting of the NDB here, Kamath said the bank had signed its first loan agreement for a project in China in December last year.

“We are focusing on lending in local currency which will help our member countries. We have signed our second loan in India during this trip,” he said.

Kamath said the bank has an approval to raise 10 billion renminbi, out of which it has raised 3 billion renminbi.

“Our maiden bond issue in China, which was a green bond issue in inter-bank market, making the NDB the first multilateral institution to tap this market,” he said.

The NDB, he said, has begun working on the African regional centre to be completed by May this year.

“Infrastructure requirement of our members is well documented. Infrastructure has to be green, sustainable, climate friendly so that it reduces vulnerability to economic shocks. Infrastructure that we build today needs to be able to weather shocks and ensure economic and social well-being of citizens,” Kamath said.

The NDB was created with a vision to support and foster infrastructure and sustainable development initiatives in emerging economies.

The bank will complement the efforts of other existing financial institutions to realise the common goal of global growth. The founding members of the NDB — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) — have put in $1.5 billion thus far as capital contribution.

The NDB is also planning to raise up to $500 million through ‘masala bonds’ and increase its exposure to infrastructure projects in India to around $600-700 million during the year.