Saturday, October 20, 2007

G7 MEETING G7 calls for IMF, World Bank reforms

WASHINGTON (Thomson Financial) - The International Monetary Fund is making laudable efforts to reform itself, economic officials of the G7 industrial nations said today, but needs to go further.

'We remain committed to achieving an ambitious package of fundamental reforms,' the G7 post-meeting statement said.

The G7 officials praised the IMF's intention to increase and modernize exchange rate surveillance and said it should be 'firm and even-handed.'

The reforms also include changing capital and voting shares to 'better reflect the realities of the world economy,' the statement said. That means a bigger voice in Fund decisions that 'reflects the growing weight and role of dynamic members, many of which are emerging markets'.

The immediate beneficiaries would be the so-called BRICs -- the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The IMF's own finances are getting increasingly tight, and the G7 members warned it needed to 'undertake a serious review of its activities and consolidation of its spending'.

Since the members of the G7 also have overwhelming voting control of the IMF, there is a considerable element of circularity in these statements; they are the ones who will have to ensure the IMF carries out its commitments.

On the World Bank, the G7 confined themselves to looking forward to more discussions about its future with new president Robert Zoellick.


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