The president of Honduras made the announcement during an official visit to China © Getty Images / Manuel Chinchilla

Honduras has formally requested to join the New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS group of major emerging economies, the office of President Xiomara Castro said on Saturday.

Castro met with the bank’s president Dilma Rousseff during her six-day official visit to China.

Headquartered in Shanghai, the NDB was established by BRICS member states – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – back in 2014. The five economies of the bloc account for more than 40% of the world’s population and nearly a quarter of global GDP.

The bank was set up with the purpose of financing infrastructure and sustainable development in member states and other emerging economies. It also aims to help member states to reduce dependence on the US dollar and euro. The multinational lender continues to expand its global reach and already includes Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Egypt.

Earlier this month, Rousseff, a former president of Brazil, said the NBD’s board of directors had formally enabled her to vote on Argentina’s entry to the organization, which would allow Buenos Aires to access financial assistance.

The NDB has lent $33 billion to support more than 96 projects in the five founding member nations.

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