Strauss-Khan said the IMF's move would better reflect global economic changes [AFP]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to give greater voting rights to the large emerging economies, giving China and India long-sought recognition within the financial body.

The move, announced on Friday, makes China the third leading voice of the global lender, ahead of Germany, France and Britain.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, director of the IMF, called the agreement "historic", saying it marked a recognition of the "growing role in the global economy" played by emerging markets.

A number of smaller European nations and oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia lost votes so that "new changes in the global economy will now be reflected in changes in the fund", according to Strauss-Kahn.

As well as benefiting China, the move will lift other large emerging powers India, Brazil and Russia into the top 10 of the 187-member institution.

The IMF's member countries will vote on the plan in the coming weeks, after which some legislatures will need to ratify the changes.

The shift represents the most significant overhaul at the IMF since the body was set up after World War Two.

Source: Agencies