Economies in Asia set sights on IMF roles

Shanghai Daily - - TOP NEWS -

ASIA’S fast-ris­ing economies set their sights on se­cur­ing key In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund ap­point­ments un­der new chief Chris­tine La­garde yes­ter­day, hop­ing she will be the one to make good on oft-heard pledges to give more power to emerg­ing mar­kets.

On her re­cent cam­paign-trail tour of Asia, La­garde ac­knowl­edged that coun­tries such as China and In­dia de­served IMF vot­ing power com­men­su­rate with their grow­ing eco­nomic clout, and a fair shot at the emer­gency lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion’s top de­ci­sion­mak­ing posts.

“La­garde is a friend of In­dia,” a se­nior In­dian govern­ment source said. “We can’t get the IMF man­ag­ing di­rec­tor’s chair for now but at least In­dia can get some high-level ap­point­ments in the IMF dur­ing her ten­ure and we will work to­wards that.”

La­garde be­gins her five-year term as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the IMF on July 5.

High on her to- do list will be ap­point­ing a top lead­er­ship which fairly re­flects global eco­nomic in­flu­ence, and shep­herd­ing through an al­ready agreed process to re­al­lo­cate vot­ing rights to give emerg­ing mar­kets a greater say.

China’s cen­tral bank said in a state­ment that it hoped La­garde would push for re­form, and wanted to see the IMF play a pos­i­tive role in pro­mot­ing global fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity “and to in­crease the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of emerg­ing economies in the IMF gov­er­nance struc­ture.”

La­garde re­ceived sup­port from many ma­jor Asian economies even though she per­pet­u­ates a pat­tern they de­spise of Euro­peans hold­ing the top IMF job.

The United States is al­ready con­sid­er­ing putting for­ward a Trea­sury Depart­ment of­fi­cial for the No. 2 role, which has tra­di­tion­ally been filled by an Amer­i­can.

Break­ing with that tra­di­tion might help con­vince Asian coun­tries that La­garde is se­ri­ous about re­form­ing the IMF, although there was no in­di­ca­tion she has­made any prom­ises to award the role to some­one from Asia.

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