IMF votes decisively in favour of increase in China's voting share

China's growing power in the world economy was given official recognition yesterday as members of the International Monetary Fund voted overwhelmingly to increase the Asian giant's voting share in the institution.

However, the decision also fired the starting gun on a two-year debate over a more radical reform of the financial watchdog that will be particularly contentious in Europe.

The IMF said countries holding 90.6 per cent of votes had voted in favour of a two-stage plan that will see China, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey - the most under-represented states - increase their quotas. China moves from ninth to sixth largest member.

This was above the 85 per cent threshold required, but showed the measures did meet some opposition. One source said 50 countries, mainly in Latin America and the Middle East, had cast their votes against, although the IMF declined to comment.

The IMF will now start a review to find a formula for adjusting all the countries' voting shares, alongside a plan to boost the number of votes held by low-income countries to ensure they do not get left behind.

Rodrigo de Rato, the IMF's managing director, who pushed through the package, will tell its annual meetings in Singapore today: "This vote is a great start. It shows that the spirit of international co-operation is alive and well at the fund. These reforms are tremendously important for the future of institutions."

The review is likely to see a lot of wrangling by European countries that believe a formula based purely on economic weight would dilute their influence.

Mr de Rato drew up the voting reform as part of a package of measures to restore the fund's credibility, which had been affected by crisis-hit countries paying off their debts, denying the IMF an income and a raison d'être.

Mr de Rato said the decision would "add legitimacy" to other reforms, such as a move away from solving crises to identifying and preventing them.

The vote received a lukewarm reception from campaign groups. The Bretton Woods Project, an alliance of groups such as Oxfam and Christian Aid, described it as "completely inadequate". Peter Chowla, its senior policy officer, said: "It is a real shame that this proposal has succeeded despite the reservations of more than 50 developing countries."

Peer Steinbrueck, the German finance minister, admitted a defeat on the vote would have "cast a shadow over the meetings".

However, one observer noted it was ironic that a proposal to shake up the quotas was passed using a voting system that the IMF acknowledged was archaic.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence