Brazil has welcomed the candidacy of Agustin Carsten, Mexico’s central bank chief, in his pursuit to become the next head of the Washington-based IMF but said it required more time to decide which candidate to support.
Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega however noted on Thursday: “Emerging economies are under-represented in the fund’s leadership, especially Latin American countries.”
He added: “Being born in Europe or in the US does not make the candidate the most qualified for the position. According to Mantega candidates’ dedication to reforming the IMF is more significant than their place of birth.
Although Brazil has previously shown to be one of the key countries to appeal for more say for emerging markets in global economic affairs, government sources believe Brazil may be favouring Lagarde because of her influence within the IMF and her ability to push through reforms.
Carstens, who is currently in Brazil campaigning for backing for his candidacy against French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, has defended Brazil’s response, saying emerging countries didn’t have enough time to co-ordinate.
Lagarde, who began lobbying for support among the emerging markets on Monday, promised during her visit to Brasilia to ‘universalise’ the IMF.
Although she is considered the favourite, sources say it is vital for her candidacy to get Brazil’s backing as it is the region’s largest economy.