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Home News Mexico’s Carstens takes IMF bid to India

Mexico’s Carstens takes IMF bid to India

Published on 10/06/2011

Mexico's Agustin Carstens was due in India on Friday to press his case to be the next chief of the IMF, as he and rival candidate, France's Christine Lagarde, criss-cross the globe to garner support.

The Mexican central bank chief has presented himself as the developing world candidate, saying last week that his cause “is something that emerging countries have advocated and which we have to continue to work for.”

Carstens is expected to hold series of meetings in New Delhi similar to Lagarde, who had talks on Tuesday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

He is seen as the outsider of the two candidates for the post, which fell vacant with the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn over allegations of sexual assault in New York last month.

Carstens’ arrival in Delhi comes after a visit to Canada this week and earlier stops in Brazil and Argentina, while Lagarde was in China on Wednesday and Thursday after passing through India.

Under a tacit agreement, the leadership of the International Monetary Fund has been held by a European since its founding in 1945, while an American has occupied the top job at the World Bank.

“It is clear that for the moment, they (European nations) have not managed to get to a situation where they have full credibility,” Carstens told AFP last week. “So they need to make more efforts.”

India has declined to express support for either candidate, instead stressing that the managing director of the Washington-based lender should in future be chosen simply on suitability.

China has also said the choice must be based on merit, and should better represent emerging markets and changes to the world economy.

Lagarde, 55, told AFP on Thursday that she felt “very positive” after her talks in Beijing and that she backed China’s right to fill a top job at the global lender.

“I am very satisfied with the meetings I’ve had in China,” she said on her final day in Beijing. “I have a very positive feeling following these talks, but it’s up to them to convey their decision. It’s not up to me.”

The French finance minister — who has already visited Brazil, another major emerging economy — has pledged to reform the IMF to give developing countries more power.

She heads on Friday to Lisbon, where African finance ministers and central bankers will be meeting for the African Development Bank’s annual gathering, before travelling to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The deadline for IMF nominations is on Friday, and the institution is expected to appoint its new chief by June 30.

Much could hinge on whether China unites with India and other emerging nations, or does its own deal with Europe and the US, with some reports suggesting China may seek to secure its own candidate as number two at the IMF.

Strauss-Kahn on Monday pleaded not guilty to the attempted rape of a hotel maid.