Gordhan congratulates new IMF head

30 June 2011

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has congratulated Christine Lagarde on her appointment as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, while calling for the body to give more say to emerging countries.

“As the global economy continues to be plagued with persistent economic challenges, the role of the IMF has and will continue to become crucial to global co-ordination and crisis management,” Gordhan said in a statement on Wednesday.

“I am confident that Ms Lagarde will be able to actively enhance that role even-handedly and effectively.”

The French finance minister was named the first ever woman head of the IMF on Tuesday.

The IMF should continue to focus on certain issues to “further strengthen its relevance and legitimacy among all member countries”, Gordhan said.

This included transferring quota shared to emerging and developing countries to give them more weight in IMF decisions.

He also called for a commitment that the next head of the IMF need not come from Europe.

“Small countries should have appropriate voice. Since the global crisis, small countries have faced particular challenges that require greater attention from the IMF,” Gordhan said.

He called for more diversity in IMF staff in terms of their nationality, gender, and academic and professional backgrounds and improved surveillance of important advanced economies.

The IMF’s top job has been held by a European for 65 years.

Sapa