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World Bank, IMF Annual Meetings Open in Singapore

The annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund has opened in Singapore with calls for more support for developing countries and a restart of global trade talks.

The heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank opened the session Tuesday by calling for more help for developing nations.

The IMF chief, Rodrigo de Rato, said promises of aid to Africa made by rich countries need to become a reality.

He also urged members to support trade talks aimed at opening up global markets. De Rato said the failure of the talks could lead to weaker economic growth.

"On trade, the world will either go forward to greater growth and broader opportunities or backward to narrow nationalism," he said.

Paul Wolfowitz, head of the World Bank, also expressed concern that unchecked corruption hinders development.

On Monday, IMF members approved a landmark plan to gradually increase the voting rights of developing economies. China, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey are the first countries to get a greater say in the institution's activities.