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IMF plans to boost bigger say for China

(China Daily, Xinhua)
Updated: 2006-09-18 08:47
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The plan to overhaul the 61-year-old IMF, whose balance of power still largely reflects the economic landscape at the end of World War II, was given the green light by the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee.

Under the proposals, China would see its share of total IMF voting rights raised to 3.65 per cent from 2.94 per cent now while South Korea's share would increase to 1.33 per cent from 0.76. Mexico would go to 1.43 per cent from 1.20, with Turkey's participation climbing to 0.55 per cent from 0.45.

The plan now goes to the full 184-strong membership of the Fund for final approval, with an announcement of the result of the vote expected by tomorrow.

On Saturday, Hu Xiaolian, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, called for greater say for developing countries' voice in the IMF.

"Developing countries not only account for a majority of the Fund's membership but also are main participants in its programme," said Hu at the 76th G24 Ministers Meeting.

She noted that the IMF's quota reform is at a critical juncture and developed countries should adopt a pragmatic and flexible approach to enhance developing countries' voices.

"We call for a large increase in basic votes and the establishment of a stable mechanism whereby basic votes account for an appropriate percentage of the quota," Hu said.

Asian nations, backed by Japan, as well as developing countries have long been pushing for a greater say at the institution, which during its six-decade life so far has been dominated by the United States, Europe and Japan.

The four countries to benefit from a boost in voting stature are said by the IMF to be the only members under-represented on all four of its criteria that determine a nation's voting rights.

Those criteria are the member's gross domestic product (GDP), its openness to trade, the "variability" of its economy, in other words how volatile its growth is, and the amount of its reserves.

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