The biggest emerging economies opened their New Development Bank in Shanghai on Tuesday, strengthening China's ability to offer developing nations the support traditionally given by the U.S. and Japan through organizations like the World Bank.

The NDB — or BRICS Bank as it is known after sponsors Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — will help with the recovery and development of emerging economies, Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said at the lender's opening ceremony in Shanghai. It can promote cooperation among developing nations without undermining the roles of existing institutions like the World Bank, he said.

"NDB's support for infrastructure construction will effectively ease the bottleneck that has constrained emerging and developing nations for (a long time) and will offer support for their economies' upgrade and growth," the minister said. "NDB is a new member and partner to the global development system."