Singapore takes charge of key IMF board

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2011 (AFP) - The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that Singapore's finance minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, would take charge of a key board setting the global lender's policy direction.

Members of the International Monetary and Financial Committee chose Tharman to succeed Egypt's former finance minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, who was obliged to step down as chairman after his government was dissolved.

Tharman, who has served as Singapore's finance minister since December 2007, was chosen to head the committee for three years, an IMF statement said.

The International Monetary and Financial Committee is in charge of deliberating on the main policy issues facing the IMF.

The committee is comprised of 24 finance ministers or central bank governors from countries that reflect the makeup of the IMF, with the chairman taking a 25th seat.

The committee meets twice a year, generally during the spring and autumn meetings of the IMF and World Bank. The IMF's next meeting is scheduled for April 16 in Washington.

Singapore's economy grew 14.7 percent in 2010, making the city-state one of the top economic performers in the world.