On July 24, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde said the organization’s headquarters could be moved to Beijing in 10 years if China and other major emerging economies continue to grow. Chinese experts think the relocation is likely for many reasons.
According to the IMF rules, the institution’s headquarters should be located within the territory of the largest economy among its member states. The organization’s headquarters has been based in the U.S. since its establishment in 1945. China has the third largest IMF quota and voting share after the U.S. and Japan.
The IMF managing director’s remarks about the possible relocation is a reminder to the U.S. that it should restrain some of its current policies, said Cao Heping, a professor at Peking University’s School of Economics.
Lagarde’s remarks also reflect her view of the global economy 10 years from now, said Song Guoyou, an international relations professor at Fudan University in Shanghai.
Cao said there is no way that Hong Kong will become the next location for the IMF headquarters, though its position as an international financial hub has been consolidated. “The prime period for Hong Kong’s development has passed, and it could take another two or three decades before the city rises again.”
Cao said compared with Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai are very likely to become candidate cities for the IMF headquarters. Beijing owns the best environment for financial and science and technology innovation, while Shanghai is located in the economic-lively Yangtze River Delta Region.
A country’s economic aggregate and supporting policies determine whether a city becomes an international financial hub or not, Song pointed out. In this regard, Beijing or Shanghai is likely to become an international financial hub.
Song also said that Chinese cities should further unleash their global influence to become global financial hubs.