Sri Lanka will support a SAARC bank on the lines of the USD 100-billion New Development Bank (NDB), announced by the BRICS grouping - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - in July.
While NDB, to be headquartered in Shanghai, will finance infrastructure and development projects across the developing world, the proposed South Asia Development Bank will focus on the eight SAARC nations - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said the proposed bank would have lot of synergies in the region and can help finance infrastructure development of the region, speaking to Business Standard India.
If agreed by member-countries, the bank would be the first for the eight-nation regional grouping -- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) -- that will provide countries with access to capital to finance infrastructure for trade facilitation and development.
"We have been supportive of that (formation of SAARC Bank) from the beginning when it was mooted," the Governor said on the sidelines of India Economic Summit.
Extending support to the SAARC Bank, Cabraal said the proposed financial institution will help in alleviating poverty in the South Asian region.
"We believe that, because we are like minded people in the region, it will have an impact. The SAARC Bank can offer block loans to banks which can be redistributed amongst the poorest sections. The bank can look at the prosperity in the region," he said.
Asked if it can become a reality, he said leaders may take a view on that in the next summit.
"I hope so, it will be finally up to the leaders to endorse it," he said.