ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Joining the club
By David Swartzemtruber
In Europe, recent reporting indicates that French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is cementing her status as the frontrunner for the position. She apparently has the support of Europe’s main economies and China, while Brazil will quitedly back her rather than the head of Mexico’s central bank, Agustin Carstens.
Nevertheless, leaders from the developing world have expressed their views in a letter to the Financial Times. Executive directors representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in the letter that the IMF needs to reform in view of “the growing role of developing countries in the world economy.”
The practice of choosing by nationality weakens the fund’s legitimacy and a decision should be taken after broad consultation with the membership, Russia’s Aleksei Mozhin, India’s Arvind Virmani, China’s Jianxiong He, South Africa’s Moeketsi Majoro and Brazil’s Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr. said in the letter.
Their point is clear and although the odds appear to favor Lagarde in this go-around, there will be increasing pressure for those in the developing world to hold significant international positions, especially in the economic and trade spheres.
After all, it is the Asian and Asean economies that have shown the most dynamic and strongest growth in recent years and they appear to be destined to continue that into the mid-21st century.
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