Much attention is being paid to China getting a bigger formal role in the International Monetary Fund. But there is one international financial institution it has already quietly joined: the Inter-American Development Bank.
China became the 48th member of the regional multilateral institution in January, subscribing $350 million dollars to the agency that promotes economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. During this weekend’s 50th annual meeting, the first China is attending, IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno signed the Bank’s first co-financing agreement with a Chinese financial institution, the Export-Import Bank of China (the money will be used for Chinese-backed infrastructure projects in Colombia); a second program with China Development Bank Corporation, will follow, as will greater cooperation with the People’s Bank of China.
Given China’s growing trade and investment in the region, IDB membership and absorption into the region’s formal infrastructure seems logical. A similar argument could be made with the IMF and the world economy.