Singapore PM calls for bigger Asian role in IMF

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

SINGAPORE, Sept 13, 2006 (AFP) – Asia deserves a bigger role in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reflect its growing contribution to the global economy, Singapore’s former prime minister said in remarks published Wednesday. “Asia contributes to about a quarter of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product), but

Asia only has about 10 percent of the votes. This is Asia excluding Japan,” Goh Chok Tong said in an interview with The Straits Times.

“So I think it’s right that it should give countries like China and Korea more voting rights, and of course Turkey as well as Mexico.”

Goh now holds the rank of Senior Minister in the government and is chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the de facto central bank.

He was speaking ahead of the September 19-20 annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Singapore.

At the meeting, the 184-member IMF is expected to adopt a preliminary overhaul of its voting system to better reflect the economic emergence of China, South Korea, Turkey and Mexico.

The quotas conferred on IMF members determine how much they contribute to the Fund, their voting rights and access to financing.

The quotas largely date from a system enacted at the IMF’s creation in 19