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Emerging markets should have greater say on global stage

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Emerging economies should have a greater say at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other top-notch global financial platforms, an increasingly number of world's economic officials and experts agreed.

This is in line with their rising economic capacity and importance on the global stage, said Philip Suttle, director of global macro-economic analysis at the Institute of International Finance, Inc.

His was echoed by many other officials and experts as the issue was under spotlight with the upcoming annual IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington.

China as well as other Asian and Latin American economies are doing well, providing the main support to the global economic recovery, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told reporters last week.

In comparison, some advanced economies are still struggling with high-rate unemployment and sagging business confidence although they were recovering from the financial crisis.

Several officials recently suggested that the experience of China and other developing countries in coping with the crisis and shoring up their economic growth could serve as a global role model.

World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick also said last week that the developing world is becoming a driver of the global economy, and "new multi-polar economy requires multi-polar knowledge," with rising economies contributing new experiences to the world.

Officials and experts worldwide are increasingly embracing the idea that to better facilitate communication between developed and developing countries, emerging markets should have a greater voice and representation on the global stage.

They should also get more involved in global policy making to bolster a sustainable and healthy world economic growth in the future, they said.

At World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in April, developing countries' voting power was increased by 3.13 percentage points to 47.19 percent in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the original institution of the World Bank Group which normally represents the group.

As a result of the shift, China's voting power has risen to 4.42 percent from 2.77 percent, the third biggest after the United States and Japan. Brazil's voting power has risen from 2.06 percent to 2.24 percent, and India's from 2.77 to 2.91.

The voting power reform approved by the World Bank's Development Committee is a historic move and will let developing countries play bigger roles in world development, Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren said.

"This is the first reform which aims at enhancing voice and participation of developing and transition countries in the World Bank's history," Xie said, adding that this reform would help promote the quota reform of its sister institution, the IMF.

As the developing countries increase their clout in global economic and trade affairs, more attention is being paid to the IMF quota reform, which has so far been slow.

"The quota structure is the core issue in IMF governance. The severe under-representation of emerging market and developing countries in the IMF seriously affects the Fund's legitimacy and effectiveness, and must be promptly corrected," Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China's central bank, said during a visit to Washington in April.

The reform of the global financial system won't be easy and will take time, but to lay a solid foundation for a balanced and coordinated global economic growth in the long run, it is an imperative that the voice and representation of developing countries should be further enhanced at the IMF and other platforms, said the officials and experts.

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