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Lagarde must focus on emerging economies: S.Africa

Christine Lagarde should direct the International Monetary Fund to give more weight to emerging economies, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said Wednesday.

South Africa was among the nations lobbying for the job to go to someone from the developing world, and while Gordhan congratulated France’s Lagarde on her appointment, he called for a commitment that the next managing director “would not necessarily be a European citizen”.

“Small countries should have appropriate voice. Since the global crisis, small countries have faced particular challenges that require greater attention from the IMF,” he said in a statement.

He also urged the IMF to push forward reforms include share transfers to developing countries “in order to increase their relative weights in the IMF decision making process, in line with their dynamism in the world economy.”

Gordhan said persistent global economic challenges would make the IMF crucial to international co-ordination and crisis management.

“I am confident that Ms Lagarde will be able to actively enhance that role even-handedly and effectively,” he said.