Top Treasury official to represent Turkey in IMF’s top board
Turkish Treasury Undersecretary İbrahim Çanakçı. DHA Photo
Turkish Treasury Undersecretary İbrahim Çanakçı has been appointed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Director, marking the first time Turkey earning the right to be directly be represented in the main governing body of the international lender.
“Turkey will take over the executive directorship duty, which is still being carried out by Austria, as of Nov.1,” read a statement released by the Turkish Treasury on July 17.
“Our country group has been informed that this important job will be undertaken by Treasury Undersecretary İbrahim Halil Çanakçı in the name of our country,” the statement said.
The IMF’s Washington-based Executive Board, which is responsible for the IMF’s day-to-day business, is made of 24 directors that represent all 188 member-countries in a geographically-based roster.
Countries with large economies have their own executive director, but most countries are grouped in constituencies representing four or more countries.
The group that Turkey is in, which includes Belarus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Slovakia, Slovenia, was represented by Austria in the board.
However, voting rights and quotes went through a reform in 2010, in a way to solve the much-criticized problem of low representation of emerging economies within the IMF.
The change allowed Turkey, Hungary and the Czech Republic to rotate with Austria for the executive directorship post.
Çanakçı was appointed to the Treasury’s top post in May, 2003, and built a reputation among investors as a quiet anchor of stability, helping to bolster Turkey’s international credibility.
Turkey’s government debt has fallen to around 36 percent of its GDP from some 74 percent when Çanakçı first took office, according to Reuters’ calculations.
He is an ally of Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, whose prudent economic oversight is seen as a bulwark against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s pressure for pro-growth policies such as low interest rates despite stubborn inflation.
Babacan’s own future is uncertain after parliamentary elections next year because of a three-term limit imposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), raising further investor concern about the future of Turkey’s economic management team.