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IMF calls on members to strengthen structural reform

By Babajide Komolafe, with Agency reports

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on member countries to strengthen structural reforms in order to facilitate recovery from the global recession.
The Board of the Fund said in a communique issued on Sunday, “To this end, all countries need to reinvigorate their structural reform agendas supported by sound fiscal, monetary, exchange rate, and financial sector policies. We look forward to an update on these efforts by the time of our next meeting.”

The communique stated, “Decisive and concerted policy actions are yielding signs of early recovery. We commit to maintaining supportive fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policies until a durable recovery is secured, and stand ready to act further as needed to revive credit, recover lost jobs, and reverse setbacks in poverty reduction.

We emphasize that agreed financial sector and regulatory reforms should be completed without delay. We reaffirm our collective responsibility to avoid protectionism in all its forms. It is also important to continue international support for low-income countries’ efforts to implement their long-term development plans and to combat poverty, and to continue monitoring the impact of the crisis on these economies.

“We welcome the outcomes of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh and support its commitment to articulating policies for strong, sustained, and balanced growth in the global economy. Building on the IMF’s central role in bilateral and multilateral surveillance, we call on the Fund to assist the G-20 mutual assessment by developing a forward-looking analysis of whether policies are collectively consistent with more sustainable and balanced trajectories for the global economy.

“We will remain vigilant to prevent financial sector excesses and the reaccumulation of unsustainable global imbalances. To this end, all countries need to reinvigorate their structural reform agendas supported by sound fiscal, monetary, exchange rate, and financial sector policies. We look forward to an update on these efforts by the time of our next meeting.

“Important strides have been made to enhance Fund surveillance, including the launch of the IMF-FSB Early Warning Exercise, and ongoing efforts to strengthen financial sector and cross-country analysis. We ask the Fund to begin implementing rapidly the new flexible framework for the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP), and to ensure that it can deliver sharper macro-financial surveillance and better integration into bilateral surveillance.

Undertaking regular FSAP reviews and updates, particularly by systemically important countries, would contribute to effective macro-financial surveillance. We encourage further strengthening cross-country, regional, and multilateral surveillance, and look forward to the review and enhancement of the Fund’s transparency policy.

We endorse the updated Surveillance Priorities, and call on members to work with the Fund in achieving its goals.
More broadly, the crisis has shown that a further reassessment of the Fund’s mandate is in order. We call on the Fund to review its mandate to cover the full range of macroeconomic and financial sector policies that bear on global stability, and to report back to the Committee by the time of the next Annual Meetings.


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