IMF agrees to increase China's voting power
Updated: 2006-09-19 11:08

The reform measure was the most important agenda item on IMF's annual meeting, held in Singapore along with its sister institution, the World Bank, which lends money to countries to fight poverty. The meetings wind up Wednesday.

When the IMF was founded in 1945, it focused on the needs of the United States, Europe and Japan. Over time, the importance of emerging economies has grown. The reforms seek to redress these changes.

"For institutions like the IMF to continue to be relevant they have to change with the economy," U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said before the results were announced.

The IMF did not say which nations voted against the proposal, but German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said Argentina, Brazil and some North African countries opposed it.

In days leading up to the vote, India, Brazil and Argentina had said the reforms should include all members and be implemented in one step. They also said they were doubtful that wealthy member nations are willing to see their voting shares reduced at a later stage.

The reforms are "unjust and counterproductive," Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Sunday.


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