S. Korea Aims to Contribute to IMF Once Europe Cements Plan

South Korea signaled it’s prepared to help expand the International Monetary Fund’s resources once Europe’s governments have presented a plan to resolve the sovereign-debt crisis that wins investor confidence.

“We’re closely watching the final outcome of the European leaders’ meeting,” Sohn Byung Doo, director general of the Group of 20 bureau at South Korea’s finance ministry, said in a telephone interview today.

Sohn spoke after the European Union pledged to extend 200 billion euros ($266 billion) to the IMF, part of a wider effort aimed at encouraging emerging markets to help stem a euro-region crisis that’s dimmed the global economic outlook.

“We can contribute if some conditions are met,” South Korea’s G-20 chief said. “Europe must come up with a workable plan and a broader map to fight the fiscal crisis that can restore the market’s confidence. We will also consider other countries’ moves when deciding how much to contribute.”

In return for extending the help, South Korea will want a stronger voice in international economic talks, Sohn said. Developed nations hold the greatest voting share in institutions including the Washington-based IMF and World Bank, and Europeans and Americans have always chosen the heads of the two groups.

“Along with other emerging countries like China and Brazil, we would like to have more of our voices heard at the international stage in return for our contribution for Europe,” Sohn said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eunkyung Seo in Seoul at eseo3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net

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