Global Finance quotes Global Business and Economics Program Director Andrea Montanino on the International Monetary Fund’s decision to alter its long-standing policy of not lending to countries with arrears to official creditors:

“In the short term, clearly it is a way to allow the IMF to continue its Ukrainian program,” observes Andrea Montanino, director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economic Program and a former executive director at the IMF. “It provides greater flexibility,” he notes.

But he thinks that the decision should also “be welcomed for its long-term implications, especially on how the IMF deals with major actors in bilateral loans that have emerged in recent years.” He points out that China has lent close to $90 billion to Latin American countries and $56 billion to Africa over the past decade.

“I think you cannot allow one country to veto the possibility of the IMF providing financing to other countries,” says Montanino. But he also believes “China and other major lenders need a stronger voice in the IMF to ensure that they act more responsibly within a framework of global economic governance.” 

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