The fourth meeting of the non-western alliance, the BRICS Summit, opened in the Indian capital New Delhi on Thursday and on top of the agenda is a bank conceived on the lines of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The bank will fund development and infrastructure projects in developing nations.

"It would be a very powerful financial tool to improve trade opportunities," said Brazil's Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel, reported the Times of India.

Leaders of the top five emerging nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are attending the meeting whose theme is "BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Security and Prosperity". The focus of the summit is on global governance and sustainable development apart from other major world and regional issues.

The leaders who are at the one-day meeting are Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Hu Jintao of China, Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The summit holds importance in the face of global issues such as the struggling global economy, rising oil prices and other regional economic, political and social issues.

"The summit will take forward the continuing efforts towards strengthening cooperation, consultation and coordination among the BRICS countries for the benefit of their people and of the international community," read a message on the summit secretariat website.