Chok Tong: Asia should have bigger role in IMF

  • AseanPlus News
  • Thursday, 14 Sep 2006

ASIA deserves to have a bigger voice at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) because its contribution to the global economy has grown substantially.  

Singapore, in particular, would also like to see its influence grow and would be willing to contribute more to the Fund to reflect this, said Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday.  

Speaking in an interview on the eve of the IMF-World Bank’s annual meetings here, Goh said this was important because Singapore’s open economy could be affected by international financial flows and exchange rate instability. And these are areas over which the IMF exercises some influence.  

But he also acknowledged that countries which want a bigger say must be prepared to contribute more financially before this can happen.  

“Before we can have more voting rights, we must be prepared to contribute to the increase in quotas,” he said.  

“Countries like China and Korea will be interested in doing that. Singapore, too, will be happy to increase our quota, and have more rights.”  

A country’s IMF quota, or shareholding, determines how much voting power it has at the 184-member organisation.  

It also determines how much a country has to contribute to the Fund.  

Generally, increased voting rights come with greater financial commitments to the IMF.  

In the past decade, Singapore has pledged about US$69mil (RM255mil) to an IMF trust fund to help lower-income member countries, and another US$505mil (RM1.87bil) to be used only in exceptional circumstances. – The Straits Times / Asia News Network  

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