Carstens set to visit China to seek support for IMF bid

Agustine Carstens Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Carstens is banking on the support of emerging economies in a bid to to head the IMF

Agustin Carstens, the Governor of Bank of Mexico is visiting China in a bid to drum up support for his bid to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr Carstens is hoping Asian countries will follow Latin American nations in backing him.

Mr Carstens and the French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde are the two candidates shortlisted by the IMF to take over as the managing director.

Mr Carstens is expected to arrive in China at 1300 local time on Thursday.

Leading Asian and Latin American countries have said a candidate from outside Europe should be considered for the post.

Mr Carstens said that his experience in working with the emerging economies made him an ideal candidate for the job.

"For the last several years the economies who have been contributing to world economic growth and stability are emerging markets," Mr Carstens said.

"We're doing something right," he added.


All 10 of the IMF's managing directors since its inception have been European.

However, the balance of economic power has shifted drastically in the past two to three years.

While the financial crisis took a heavy toll on the US and countries in the European Union, emerging economies, especially in Asia, have witnessed robust growth during the period.

"Europe is over-represented in the fund, with more voice and representation that Europe has in the world economy," Mr Carstens said.

Mr Carstens has also voiced concerns, that given the debt-crisis in some European countries, there may be a conflict of interest if a candidate from the region were to head the fund.

Difficult not impossible

Despite all the talk about a non-European candidate taking over the reins, the French Finance minister Ms Lagarde is being touted as the clear favourite.

She has the backing of the European nations, which hold almost 30% of voting power.

Mr Carstens, may have the support of 12 Latin American nations but so far Brazil and Argentina have not backed him openly.

Also, the US remains tight lipped about who they are supporting, though even Mr Carstens admitted that it is unlikely that they will go against Europe.

"So far it hasn't happened, hopefully there will be a first," Mr Carstens said.

However, despite the odds stacked up against him Mr Carstens said he will fight it out till the very end.

"It's difficult but not impossible," he said.

"As they say in baseball games, it's not over till it's over," Mr Carstens added.

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