Lula Wants a Bigger Role for Brazil in the World Bank and the IMF

Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Brazil and its neighbors in the Mercosur are in a more solid position to face the global financial crisis that rich nations, said Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who nevertheless called for  stronger trade links among South American group of nations.

"Mercosur countries are in a growth and jobs creation cycle," said Lula in his broadcast program "Breakfast with the President." "We know the global financial crisis is very serious, but we are in better conditions to address it than the rich nations."

Lula da Silva said that the strength of Mercosur is based on its domestic market and expansion capacity.

"My message is that to face the crisis we need more Mercosur, more exports, more trade among our member countries," insisted the Brazilian president in reference to the group made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, associate members Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Venezuela which is in the process of full membership integration.

Ahead of the coming G-20 summit in Washington this weekend Lula said he expected a greater regulation framework for the global financial system to prevent a repeat of the current crisis or similar situations.

"We all know the international financial system needs some type of government control or regulation, a financial system can't turn into a casino. We want the financial system to invest in developing countries, in helping expand industry and farming," he emphasized.

President Lula who has become the spokesperson for South America and other developing nations has defended a greater participation of the emerging economies in the multilateral organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank.

However the French Finance minister Christine Lagarde in an interview with the Brazilian daily Valor Econômico from São Paulo said that the IMF was reformed in 2007, "following many years of negotiations," and therefore "we must work with what we already have in our hands."

Ms Lagarde also expressed reservations about re-launching the Doha round talks next weekend in Washington, "we already have too much to talk about."

Mercopress

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