Central bankers, finance ministers meet in Washington to tackle global economy
WASHINGTON — About 189 central bank governors and finance ministers converged here to discuss ways to sustain global growth and at the same time address risks during the Annual Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in a press briefing the gloal economy is gaining momentum and expected to grow 3.5 percent this year and 3.5 percent next year from 3.1 percent last year as it is being “warmed by rays of sensible policies that are now bearing fruit in many countries.”
“Spring is in the air. There was a bit of rain this morning, but spring is in the air and spring is in the economy as well. We are finally seeing the global economy picking up the momentum that we hope is going to be sustained in the medium and longer term,” Lagarde said.
The Annual Spring Meetings of the IMF/WB is likened to the Oscars as it bring together central bankers, finance ministers, private sector executives, civil society, and academics to discuss issues of global concerns. The Philippine delegation is led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
Lagarde said there is a need to make sure the momentum is sustained and shared more equitably while taking note of downside risks that include political uncertainty.
“Well, with 189 representatives of the membership, finance ministers, governors of central banks, we will be discussing how we can sustain that momentum; how, irrespective of political cycles, we can make sure that our global economy is more resilient; how it is rooted in stronger growth, more inclusive growth and with good cooperation among all,” she said.
Lagarde said the first priority is to maintain the growth momentum using the traditional fiscal, monetary, structural reform tools that we put together as the three?pronged approach which has to be tailored to each country’s specificity.
She also stressed the need to reinvigorate productivity by boosting innovation and trade as well as making global growth more inclusive within countries, across countries and between generations.
Lagarde said economies should make tax and benefit systems more equitable, boost high-quality infrastructure investment, and mitigate the impact of the structural changes that are taking place.
Furthermore the IMF chief said there is a need to protect future generations against imprudent actions of today’s generation that include excessive debt burden, unsustainable pension schemes, poor or not maintained infrastructure and the impact of climate change.
Lagarde added there is a need for stronger cooperation across countries to help reduce excessive external imbalances, clamp down on tax evasion and tax avoidance.
“All countries, of course, should guard against what I have called self-inflicted wounds, such as restrictions, subsidies, and other trade distortions that reduce competition and economic openness,” she said.