Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said yesterday that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) bloc of advanced emerging economies should rally behind a single candidate for the presidency of the World Bank. Though an American has filled the role since the organization’s founding in 1946, developing nations—spearheaded by the BRICS group—seek to break to mold with whoever is nominated to succeed current president Robert Zoellick.
Mantega met United States nominee and global health expert Jim Yong Kim Thursday morning, but maintained that Brazil had not yet made a decision of who to endorse. “By late next week, Brazil should have a position on the matter, and I will talk with the other BRICS,” Mantega said.
Apart from Kim, the other front-runners include Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala—who has received the support of many developing nations and South Africa—and former Colombian Finance Minister José Antonio Ocampo.
With this and similar proclamations on behalf of other BRICS nations, Brazil sees the nomination as an opportunity tip the balance of power, long held by the U.S., in favor of the emerging markets. The World Bank plans to make a decision before its spring meetings held jointly with the IMF, beginning on April 20.