France's Lagarde to visit China, Brazil: source

26th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, seeking to be the new head of the International Monetary Fund, will visit emerging economic giants China and Brazil shortly, sources said on Thursday.

"She could go in the coming days to China and Brazil," said one source in Lagarde's entourage, adding that details of the visits have yet to be agreed.

The visits, likely to include others in the BRICS group comprised of Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa, will allow Lagarde "to make herself better known, to explain her candidacy and lobby," the source added.

Many emerging economic powers want a successor to France's Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has resigned to fight charges of sexual assault, to represent their interests, arguing against the automatic naming of a European replacement.

China said on Thursday the choice of a new IMF chief should be based on "openness, transparency and merit, and better represent emerging markets and better reflect changes in the world economic structure."

Lagarde formally launched her candidacy on Wednesday, saying she had made the decision "after mature reflection" and with the backing of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

By a convention dating back to its 1945 founding, the IMF has a European head while an American takes the top job at its sister body, the World Bank.

The developing countries are unhappy with what they see as an out of date, cosy arrangement which means they do not get a fair say in the running of two of the global economy's most important institutions.

© 2011 AFP

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