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EU help must be tied to IMF reform: Economist

By Lan Lan (China Daily)

14:05, January 11, 2012

Emerging economies entitled to larger share of votes in organization

BEIJING - China's contribution to any European Union (EU) bailout through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) must be linked to quota reform by the international institution, said Li Daokui, a leading Chinese economist, on Tuesday.

"If they want emerging countries to put money in, do it in a business-like way. It's necessary for the EU to make a commitment to release part of its shares to emerging economies," Li said on the sidelines of a seminar hosted by the Italian Embassy in Beijing.

He is the director of the Center for China in the World Economy at the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, as well as a central bank adviser.

"Details could be discussed, and gaining approval from the IMF is not easy, but it's a reasonable principle that providing money must be linked to quota reform," Li added.

The EU's total quota in the fund is nearly 40 percent, followed by the US at about 17 percent.

China's current quota has been raised to about 6.39 percent from 3.9 percent previously.

Emerging economies have long sought a bigger say in the IMF. A member nation's quota - a financial stake in the fund - determines its share of the votes.

"China and other emerging economies have a lot to gain from being active in multilateral bodies, and I'm very pleased to see how China has grown its role in the IMF policy. It's very noticeable and constructive," said Annika Melander, head of the economic and financial affairs section of the Delegation of the European Union in China.

The G20 meeting in Cannes, France, in October agreed to help the EU increase its bailout fund through the IMF. Details will be discussed by financial ministers at a meeting in February.

The EU is China's largest trading partner, and Chinese exporters have seen demand fall due to the eurozone debt crisis.

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