China calls for emerging nations to be heard in World Bank


China calls for emerging nations to be heard in World Bank

China calls for emerging nations to be heard in World Bank

Monday, March 26, 2012
  • kim
Kim being introduced by Obama when announcing the former's candidacy.

BEIJING: China said Monday the voice of developing countries must be taken into account when selecting a new leader for the World Bank, amid calls for an end to US dominance at the global lender.


Three candidates have put themselves forward to replace outgoing leader Robert Zoellick -- including two non-Americans -- in what is the first challenge to US monopoly of the presidency at the global development lender.


"The head of the World Bank and other international financial institutions should be selected based on the principles of fairness, openness and transparency," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.


"We should also heed the voice of developing countries so as to ensure the voice and representation of developing countries in the World Bank and other international financial institutions."


The bank's executive board is set to interview the three candidates in the coming weeks, and the lender is expected to select its new president by consensus next month.


The candidates are US nominee Jim Yong Kim, Korean-born but American-raised and currently president of Dartmouth College; Colombian Jose Antonio Ocampo, a professor at Columbia University; and Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.


Zoellick announced last month he would leave in June at the end of his five-year term.


Thanks to an unwritten pact between European powers and the United States dating back to 1945, all 11 bank presidents have been Americans and all International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing directors have come from Europe.


But a number of emerging-market countries and non-governmental organisations have lobbied for years for an end to the pact to better reflect today's global economy.


After former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's sudden resignation last May, China called for the selection of the next leader to better represent emerging markets.


In the end, though, Beijing pledged its support for French finance minister Christine Lagarde, who was eventually chosen to head the IMF over several non-Europeans.