Mexican Central Bank Governor Agustin Carstens, a contender to head the International Monetary Fund, said on Friday that it would be premature for him to comment on whether he earned Japan's support for his bid to become head of the fund.
Carstens, speaking to reporters after meeting Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, said he explained his views on the fund and his ideas on Japan's role.
The Japanese finance minister listened very carefully to my position, Carstens told reporters. It is still premature, but I had a good discussion with him.
Carstens is in contention with front-runner French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde in the race to replace former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn after he was arrested last month on sexual assault charges, which he denies.
Asked about the U.S. Federal Reserve's quantitative easing, Carstens said the measures have been appropriate, although spillover effects posed a challenge for emerging economies, which face very rapid capital inflows.
Carstens said in the future both emerging markets and advanced economies that are being affected by monetary easing should have the freedom to impose capital controls to cope with rapid inflows of resources.
QE2 and QE1 have helped in terms of promoting faster growth in the U.S. economy and a strong recovery in it. And that fully justifies the monetary policy actions that the Fed has undertaken, Carstens told a news conference.
What helps the most for the U.S. and also for the world economy is to have a strong U.S. economy.
With Greece on the verge of a debt default, the leadership of the next IMF chief will be put to the test immediately.
Carstens said his experience in crisis management should allow him to contribute to finding solutions for Europe's sovereign debt problems.
Emerging economies are demanding a bigger voice in the IMF to match their growing economic clout. Russia, India, China and others say they want an end to a tradition that puts the IMF in European hands.
Lagarde has the backing of European countries. Few countries outside Latin America, however, have expressed support for Carstens.
The United States and Japan, with the two largest voting shares in the IMF, have not yet announced who they will support for the top post.
The IMF board is due to choose the next head of the global lender by June 30.
(Editing by Edmund Klamann)