Canada to push IMF quota reform at G7 meetings

Wed Feb 6, 2008 5:33pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada expects to promote the idea of shifting some International Monetary Fund (IMF) quotas to the emerging countries, when it meets its partners from the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies in Tokyo this weekend.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Canada had been playing an important role in seeking common ground between the emerging economies and the industrialized economies.

"There needs to be some transfer of quota, voting share, from the industrialized countries to the emerging economies. And that's not easy to do, because it means some countries are giving up some of their voting power," he told reporters ahead of his departure for Tokyo.

"Overall, quite frankly, I think it should be capable of being accomplished, because most of us I think want to see the IMF be a relevant, viable, important international financial institution, particularly as we go through a time of some economic turbulence."

The issue is supposed to be dealt with in the IMF meetings in April but the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will discuss it in Tokyo, he said.

European powers have been the most reluctant to give up their voting power, which would shift in relative terms to countries like China and India.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Renato Andrade)