Emerging economies 'must get their say': Economist

Emerging economies 'must get their say': Economist
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Developed economies should take serious and quicker action to let emerging economies increase their say in international governance, a senior economist at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey has said. Much less has been done than was expected, economist Yuksel Gormez told China Daily ahead of the G20 summit in Turkey on Sunday and Monday.

"First, the International Monetary Fund should approve the renminbi's inclusion in the international currency basket," he said.

After Gormez made the suggestion, the IMF decided on Friday to vote for the renminbi being added to the Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies at the end of this month-its inclusion now looks likely.

"The internationalization of the renminbi is occurring much faster than what many observers expected," Gormez said.

However, he said, the international community's decision-making process involves bargaining, which makes it harder to predict the outcomes. "And this applies to global financial institutions, including the IMF," he said.

Turkey, like China, has increased its say in the IMF in recent years, he said, but the progress has been very slow in coming.

According to the IMF, although China is the world's second-largest economy, its share in voting rights has accounted for only 3.81 per cent of the total.

In tandem with the US, which accounts for 16.74 per cent, leading to its veto power, Japan, the third-largest economy, has shared more voting power than China. Japan holds 6.23 per cent of the voting rights, and Turkey has 0.61 per cent among the 188 IMF Special Drawing Rights Department participants.

"I think many emerging countries will be in the same boat trying to update to the reality of global financial governance," said Gormez.

But the slow pace of adjustment to the status quo of international finance to reflect global economic reality is worth praising, he said, because nobody makes bad mistakes in the international system.

"Instead of having a hasty, wrong decision, it is better to take the time needed to have the right decision. But there definitely should be reform, and the current global financial architecture is not delivering," he said.

"Change will come. I don't know how, I don't know when, but it will come. It may be not as soon as next year, but I believe it will certainly come by 2020.

Gormez said China's Belt and Road Initiative will contribute greatly to global trade and enhance connectivity, "so everybody should support it without any hesitation".

The world is going through a golden age of upgrading global infrastructure, he said, and China's proposal has offered a viable means of financing it for many countries.

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