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Time to End Western Grip on IMF

May 23 , 2011

The international financial community is fretting over who will replace disgraced French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn, as head of the IMF. The retirement of John Lipsky, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, opened up another position. But global opinion is turning against the notion that the chief positions at the IMF and World Bank should always be held by Westerners. Isn't it time for someone from the emerging countries to take charge?

So it's possible that China, which has had an increasingly powerful voice in the IMF in recent years, could produce the next president.

Since they were established, the World Bank has been headed by an American and the IMF by a European. This unwritten rule has been more fiercely challenged since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008. Critics argued that candidates from the emerging countries, such as China and Brazil, should be given a chance at the role. In fact, Strauss-Kahn has worked to raise the profile of the emerging countries within the organization since he took charge of the IMF in 2007.

Shan Renping is a commentator with the Chinese edition of the Global Times

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