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Monday, April 26, 2010

India gains more say in World Bank, China even more

India saw its say in the World Bank increasing a bit after member nations approved a shift in voting rights, while its peer China's voice in the funding agency grew louder than that of Germany, France and the UK.Both India and China hitherto enjoyed an identical 2.77 per cent voting rights. While India's voting power stands increased to 2.91 per cent, that of China leaped to 4.42 per cent -- placing it third overall.

India is now the seventh largest member in terms of voting power, with United States leading the table with 15.85 per cent, Japan (6.84 per cent), China (4.42 per cent), Germany (4 per cent), France (3.75 per cent) and the United Kingdom (3.75 per cent). Membership of the financial institution gives certain voting rights that are the same for all countries, but additional votes are granted depending on a country's financial contributions to the organisation.

Since 2008, emerging economies have overall gained 4.59 per cent in voting rights.
"The change in voting-power helps us better reflect the realities of a new multi-polar global economy where developing countries are now key global players," said World Bank President Robert B Zoellick.


The member nations also agreed to raise more funds for global aid at the annual spring meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The change gives emerging nations more say in how the bank is run and how its funds are disbursed.
"This change in voting share, giving developing countries over 47 per cent, is a significant step," he told reporters here, hoping shareholders will review the approach in 2015.

Zoellick said at a time when multilateral agreements between developed and developing countries have proved elusive, this accord is all the more significant.

This increase fulfils the Development Committee commitment in Istanbul in October 2009 to generate a significant increase of at least 3 percentage points in Developing and Transition Countries (DTCs) voting power.

"We, in calculating this, looked at size of the world economy, using purchasing power but also exchange rate measures, but also, as a development institution, the contribution to development including the contribution to IDA, our fund for the poorest".

The governments also approved over $90 billion in extra money for the World Bank's various arms that provide aid and capital to member countries.

Zoellick said the shift in voting powers was designed to try to reflect past contributions, citing the example of Japan that has been "a very gracious contributor" and "to encourage new ones, including... Developing and transition countries".

The 186 countries that own the World Bank Group also endorsed boosting its capital by more than $86 billion for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the arm that lends to developing countries.

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