To tackle meltdown, Brown pushes multi-billion dollar IMF funding

November 4th, 2008 - 2:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownDubai, Nov 4 (IANS) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for a greater say in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for countries that contribute to his multi-billion dollar funding proposal for the Washington-based institution to tackle the current global financial crisis.Brown, whose whirlwind three-nation tour of the Gulf ends Tuesday, hoped countries in the region will contribute to the proposed new IMF facility, saying it was in everybody’s interest to stop the contagion.

“To stop the spread of contagion to neighbouring countries, we must build agreement for a new facility for the International Monetary Fund, and I very much hope the Gulf states will be able to contribute to these efforts,” he said.

“I very much accept the argument that countries that contribute in this way should have a greater say in the governance of the IMF,” he told the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) 2008 Monday.

Under his proposal, Brown wants to add billions of dollars to the $250 billion that the IMF has it disposal, drawn from currency reserves of countries, to bail out those nations that are under pressure because of the financial crisis.

He had embarked Saturday on a tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to seek contributions for his proposed expanded IMF fund.

Speaking at the Abu Dhabi oil meet a day before the US votes for a new president, the British prime minister said that the American leadership would be central in restoring stability to the financial world.

“The leadership America has shown in these difficult times has been vital to the coordinated rate cuts and the international cooperation we have seen. I know that leadership will and must continue,” he said.

He said the next stage of globalisation would require more international cooperation with American leadership, while also calling for an end to what he called the zero-sum game, which pitched oil producers against consumers.

Brown had touched some raw nerves in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) when he opposed OPEC’s decision to cut output effective Nov 1 as oil prices touched $60 a barrel last week.

Earlier, after his arrival in Abu Dhabi from Qatar Monday on the last leg of his Gulf tour, the British premier had a meeting with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The two leaders reviewed bilateral ties and ways to bolster these, and also deliberated on regional and international issues, the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

On the ongoing global financial crisis sparked by the credit crunch in the West, Sheikh Khalifa lauded the efforts made by Brown to achieve greater international cooperation to meet the crisis through empowerment of world financial institutions and funds for helping countries most affected by it.

Brown is leading a powerful delegation comprising British Secretary of State for Business Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband, a business team comprising top executives of British companies and representatives of leading British universities.

Brown and his delegation will return to Britain Tuesday evening.

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