- Special Pages
By Satish Kanady
DOHA: Qatar, on behalf of other Arab countries, has called on the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to play a better role in promoting and deepening the reform efforts in the Arab region.
Addressing the IMF and the World Bank 2012 annual meeting in Tokyo H E Yousef Hussein Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance, who is also the Governor of the Fund and the Bank for Qatar, underscored the need for getting fair representation for the region in the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs).
Speaking on behalf of the Arab Governors of IMF and the World Bank Group, Yousef Hussain said: “An important aspect of reforming governance at the IMF is the ongoing review of the quota formula to ensure it results in fair and equitable representation of all members of the Fund, taking into consideration the multiple roles of quotas. The current formula is deficient in many ways and is the result of compromises that may have been justified by pragmatism but lack fairness. GDP should be retained in the formula, although its weight should be reduced, or its impact attenuated through appropriate compression, to help lower the concentration of voting power.”.
The minister said the Arab region was disappointed that the 2008 and the 2010 quota reforms have resulted in shifts in quotas to what has been referred to as “dynamic emerging market and developing countries” largely at the expense of other emerging market and developing countries with little loss to the share of developed economies. The current exercise has to avoid such an outcome if it is to improve the Fund’s legitimacy in the eyes of the broad membership.
On the other aspects of Fund governance, he said introducing double majority voting and reducing the 85 percent threshold for special majorities would be a meaningful governance reform that will enhance the voice and representation of smaller shareholders.
Leveraging the knowledge is critical to help economies grow, create jobs and opportunities.. Institutions like the WB and IMF can be powerful enables when they partner with regional institutions and move from centralized, expert-led, linear models to collaborative, open, and networked approaches that connect expertise. The BWIs should create platforms for knowledge, both by taking advantage of new technologies, as well as traditional face-to-face interactions, whether South-South, or South-North. They should operationalize knowledge in their own development and advisory activities and help our countries do the same.
According to Yousef Hussain , the region’s private sector development is another key area the Bank and the Fund need to focus on. The region see the private sector as the main driver for future growth and the key to realizing the region’s potential for robust and sustained job creation, technological innovation, and regional economic integration that are urgently needed. Recent developments in the region have created the momentum, incentives and a conducive policy environment to expand growth and job oriented private sector investment. He wanted the World Bank Group to enhance decentralisation of staff and activities in the Arab region. The Peninsula