September 24, 2000 International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20431 USA
Communiqué of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary
1. The International Monetary and Financial Committee held its second meeting in Prague on September 24, 2000, under the
Chairmanship of Mr. Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom. It welcomes Mr. Horst Köhler as the
new Managing Director and looks forward to working with him on the continuing reform of the Fund and the strengthening
of the international financial architecture.
World Economic Outlook
2. The Committee welcomes the strengthening of global economic growth this year to the highest rate in twelve years.
Economies in all major regions of the world have grown, and inflation remains generally under control.
3. While the overall outlook is positive, the Committee remains mindful of the significant remaining risks associated
with the continuing economic and financial imbalances in the global economy. These potential challenges include
imbalances in external accounts and the possible risk from misalignments in exchange rates and high levels of equity
valuations in the major currency areas. The Committee considers that it will therefore be important to remain vigilant
against inflationary pressures in the United States, and that national savings should increase; to pursue policies in
Japan that are strongly supportive of self-sustained domestic demand-led recovery; and to intensify the momentum of
growth-supporting structural reforms in the European Union and in other advanced countries. In almost all developing and
emerging market countries, continued progress with structural reforms-in particular through strengthening their
financial sectors-is required to strengthen prospects for sustained economic growth. The Committee also expresses
concern that, despite the strength of the global recovery, poverty remains unacceptably high, and many poor countries
continue to face serious economic problems.
4. The Committee welcomes the gradual improvement in the last year in the terms and conditions of market access for
emerging market countries, reflecting the better fundamentals in these markets. However, flows remain below pre-crisis
levels, at higher spreads, and continue to show significant volatility, and market access remains extremely limited for
some emerging markets.
5. The Committee is concerned that current oil prices, if sustained, could hamper global growth, add to inflationary
pressures, and adversely affect prospects for many countries. It notes in particular the effect on the poorest countries
and those highly dependent on oil imports. The Committee agrees on the desirability of stability in oil markets around
reasonable long-term prices. It notes the recent U.S. decision to mobilize reserves and notes that some other industrial
countries may be in a position to examine the possibility of doing so to help achieve greater stability. The Committee
welcomes the steps the oil-producing countries have taken this year to increase production and calls on them to take
further steps to create conditions in oil markets conducive to healthy global growth. The Committee looks forward to
improved dialogue between oil producers and consumers to promote greater oil market stability.
6. The Committee notes that, in the ten years since the launch of the transition to market economies in eastern Europe
and the former Soviet Union, much has been achieved. But the process has been difficult and remains far from complete,
and progress has varied across countries. The Committee underlines that a key lesson from this experience is that
transition economies that have made the greatest progress in establishing macroeconomic stability and implementing
structural and institutional reforms have also achieved the best economic performance.
The Future Role of the IMF
7. The Committee strongly supports the objective of making globalization work for the benefit of all. In this respect,
it endorses the Managing Director's vision of the future role of the IMF, and looks forward to working with him on
continuing reform of the Fund and strengthening the international architecture. While each country's own actions will
inevitably be the most important determinant of its economic progress, all members of the international community have
essential roles in supporting and facilitating these individual efforts. The international community must place renewed
emphasis on promoting broadly-shared prosperity, sustained growth, and poverty reduction. With its broad mandate and
universal membership, the Fund, in partnership with the World Bank, is uniquely placed to serve its members, including
the poorest countries, by contributing to this global effort.
8. The Committee notes the advances in applying the lessons of recent financial crises to the work of the IMF and the
policies of its members. Many concrete steps have been taken or are under way to improve the functioning of the
international financial system, and to strengthen its capacity for preventing and managing financial crises. As a
result, the international community has made progress toward dealing with difficult situations and managing their
9. But continued efforts for change will be necessary. The Committee calls upon the IMF, in particular, and the
international community, as a whole, to continue to strengthen their efforts to reduce vulnerability and to avoid
crises, and when crises do occur, to reduce their spillover effects. These efforts will need to focus on:
· broadening and strengthening the Fund's surveillance of the domestic economic policies of all members and of the
international financial system, including regional dimensions;
· continued promotion, development, and voluntary implementation, in a fully participatory way, of internationally
agreed codes and standards, in cooperation with other bodies, as appropriate, supported by enhanced technical
· constructive engagement of the private sector by the official sector.
10. The Committee reiterates that the Fund has a central role to play in bringing together the efforts of other global
institutions to strengthen the international financial system in helping to ensure that all countries can benefit from
globalization. It agrees that the Fund can best contribute to this global effort and strengthen its overall
· continuing to deepen its collaboration with other agencies and bodies. In that regard, it welcomes the initiatives of
the Managing Director and the President of the World Bank to strengthen cooperation and complementarity between the two
· promoting, within the context of the Fund's mandate, international financial and macroeconomic stability and growth of
member countries, the Fund must sharpen the focus of work in its core areas of responsibility: macroeconomic
stabilization and adjustment; monetary, exchange rate, and fiscal policies and their associated institutional and
structural aspects; and financial sector issues, especially systemic issues relating to the functioning of domestic and
international financial markets.
11. The Committee stresses the importance of national ownership of Fund-supported programs for their sustained
implementation. The Committee urges the Executive Board to take forward its review of all aspects of the policy
conditionality associated with Fund financing in order to ensure that, while not weakening that conditionality, it
focuses on the most essential issues; enhances the effectiveness of Fund-supported programs; and pays due respect to
members' specific circumstances and their implementation capacities.
The Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and the enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
12. The Committee affirms the Fund's enhanced role in poor countries. It considers that a lasting breakthrough in
combating world poverty can only be achieved if the poorest countries are able, with the support of the international
community, to build the fundamentals for sustained growth. Macroeconomic stability and structural reform will provide
the conditions for private sector investment and growth and will, over time, allow countries to access international
capital markets. The Committee also considers that international trade is critical for development and poverty
reduction. To help ensure that the fruits of globalization are shared by all, it will be crucial that access of
developing countries, particularly the poorest, to industrial country markets continues to improve. Industrial countries
should increase their official development assistance. The Committee encourages developing countries, for their part, to
follow policies consistent with domestic macroeconomic stability and competitiveness in international markets; continue
to reduce trade barriers; and implement other appropriately sequenced outward-oriented reforms that promote poverty
reducing growth, investment in human capital, particularly health and education, and development.
13. The PRGF provides an essential framework, together with complementary assistance from the World Bank, for supporting
countries' own growth strategies and for enabling HIPC debt relief to be translated into poverty reduction.
14. The Committee endorses the Progress Reports on the HIPC Initiative and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). It
welcomes the progress made in developing country-owned poverty reduction strategies, including through the preparation
of PRSPs, which now underpin the work of the Fund and World Bank in low-income countries. It also welcomes the progress
in implementing the enhanced HIPC Initiative, and the commitment of the Fund and the Bank to do everything possible to
bring 20 countries to their Decision Point by the end of 2000 to ensure that debt relief is provided in the context of a
strong commitment to growth and poverty reduction. Recent shocks in terms of trade must not jeopardize this objective.
The Fund, through its facilities, may need to respond flexibly to the needs of members that arise from a sustained
period of high oil prices. Our efforts should be supported by increased technical assistance. The Committee urges
members to work together and meet their commitments to full financing of the HIPC Initiative and the PRGF as soon as
possible. It also urges all creditors to participate in the HIPC framework, while recognizing the special needs of
particular creditors. The Committee looks forward to a productive discussion of the enhanced HIPC Initiative and the
PRSP process at its joint meeting with the Development Committee.
Strengthening the International Financial Architecture and Reform of the Fund
Review of Fund Facilities
15. Following the Executive Board's wide-ranging review of the IMF's nonconcessional financial facilities, the Committee
welcomes the agreement reached on modifications that are intended to enhance the precautionary nature of the Contingent
Credit Line (CCL) and to preserve the revolving nature of the Fund's resources.
· The CCL has been modified, within its existing eligibility criteria, to make it a more effective instrument for
preventing crises and resisting contagion for countries pursuing sound policies.
· The terms of stand-by arrangements and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) have been adapted to encourage countries to
avoid reliance on Fund resources for unduly long periods or in unduly large amounts.
· It has been reaffirmed that the EFF should be confined to cases where longer-term financing is clearly required.
· It has been agreed that enhanced post-program monitoring could be useful, especially when credit outstanding exceeds a
certain threshold level.
Enhancing Fund Surveillance, and Promoting Stability and Transparency in the Financial Sector
16. The Committee considers that Fund surveillance should be strengthened further and welcomes the recent initiatives in
a range of areas. It reaffirms the role of the Article IV process as the appropriate framework within which to organize
and discuss with members the results of work in these areas. Strengthened surveillance will help the Fund and its
members to identify vulnerabilities and to anticipate threats to the financial stability of member countries. In this
respect, it welcomes the continuing efforts to improve the Fund's understanding of its members' economies; the quality
and availability of economic and financial data; Financial System Stability Assessments (FSSAs) derived from the joint
Fund-World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP); Reports on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs); and
vulnerability indicators and early warning systems. It welcomes the joint Bank-Fund work on debt management guidelines,
as well as the Fund's work on sound reserves management practices, and its role in assessing offshore financial centers.
17. The Committee recognizes that the Fund has to play its role as part of the international efforts to protect the
integrity of the international financial system against abuse, including through its efforts to promote sound financial
sectors and good governance. It asks that the Fund explore incorporating work on financial abuse, particularly with
respect to international efforts to fight against money laundering, into its various activities, as relevant and
appropriate. It calls on the Fund to prepare a joint paper with the World Bank on their respective roles in combating
money laundering and financial crime, and in protecting the international financial system, for discussion by their
Boards before the Spring meetings and asks them to report to the Spring IMFC/Development Committee meetings on the
status of their efforts.
18. The Committee is encouraged by the experience so far in preparing ROSCs and looks forward to the review later this
year of the experience with assessing the implementation of standards. It notes their crucial role in helping countries
to improve economic policies, identifying priorities for institutional and structural reform, and in promoting the flow
of important information to markets. The Committee looks forward to the next review of the FSAP. It encourages members
to participate in these initiatives.
19. The Committee notes that three issues at the core of the Fund's mandate also require further consideration: exchange
rate arrangements; the sequencing of financial sector development and capital account liberalization; and the monitoring
and analysis of developments in international capital markets. The Committee encourages the Fund to deepen its work on
international financial markets, including by improving its understanding of market dynamics and cross-border capital
flows. It also urges the Fund to continue exploring ways of engaging more constructively the private sector on these
matters, and welcomes the formation of the Capital Markets Consultative Group.
20. In the context of ongoing efforts to enhance the transparency and openness of the Fund, the Committee welcomes the
Executive Board's agreement to adopt a general policy of voluntary publication of Article IV and use of Fund resources
staff reports and other country papers. It encourages members to move in principle toward publication of these
Private Sector Involvement
21. The Committee endorses the report by the Managing Director on the involvement of the private sector in crisis
prevention and management. It welcomes the progress on developing a framework for involving private creditors in the
resolution of crises. The Committee notes that this approach strikes a balance between the clarity needed to guide
market expectations and the operational flexibility, anchored in clear principles, needed to allow the most effective
response in each case. The Committee notes that Fund resources are limited and that extraordinary access should be
exceptional; further, neither creditors nor debtors should expect to be protected from adverse outcomes by official
22. The Committee agrees that the operational framework for private sector involvement must rely as much as possible on
market-oriented solutions and voluntary approaches. The approach adopted by the international community should be based
on the IMF's assessment of a country's underlying payment capacity and prospects of regaining market access. In some
cases, the combination of catalytic official financing and policy adjustment should allow the country to regain full
market access quickly. The Committee agrees that reliance on the catalytic approach at high levels of access presumes
substantial justification, both in terms of its likely effectiveness and of the risks of alternative approaches. In
other cases, emphasis should be placed on encouraging voluntary approaches, as needed, to overcome creditor coordination
problems. In yet other cases, the early restoration of full market access on terms consistent with medium-term external
sustainability may be judged to be unrealistic, and a broader spectrum of actions by private creditors, including
comprehensive debt restructuring, may be warranted to provide for an adequately financed program and a viable
medium-term payments profile. This includes the possibility that, in certain extreme cases, a temporary payments
suspension or standstill may be unavoidable. The Fund should continue to be prepared to provide financial support to a
member's adjustment program despite arrears to private creditors, provided the country is seeking to work cooperatively
and in good faith with its private creditors and is meeting other program requirements. The Committee urges progress in
the application of the framework agreed in April 2000, and in further work to refine the analytical basis for the
required judgments, and it looks forward to a progress report by its next meeting.
Good Governance and the Fund
23. The Committee views with concern a number of recent cases of misreporting to the Fund and stresses the importance of
the steps being taken to improve the reliability of the information the Fund uses. It welcomes the application of the
new safeguards assessment procedure to all new Fund arrangements, which will provide assurances of adequate control,
reporting, and auditing procedures in borrowing countries.
24. The Committee strongly welcomes the Executive Board's decision to establish an independent evaluation office (EVO),
including the agreement to publish promptly its work program, and the strong presumption that its reports would be
published promptly. The creation of this office will help the Fund to improve its future operations, and will enhance
its accountability. It urges that the EVO become operational before the Spring 2001 meeting of the IMFC, and looks
forward to receiving regular reports on the EVO's work.
25. Quotas should reflect developments in the international economy. The Committee takes note of the Executive Board
discussion of the work of the quota formulae group, and looks forward to the Board's continued work on this issue.
26. The Committee takes note of the work of the Working Group to Review the Process of Selection of the Managing
Director, which is being carried out in tandem with similar work in the World Bank on the Process of Selection of the
President, and notes that the two groups will report together.
27. The Committee considers that the most valuable asset of the IMF is its outstanding staff, and the Committee highly
values the staff's professionalism and dedication in executing the responsibilities of the Fund effectively and
28. The Committee expresses its sincere appreciation for the excellent hospitality and support provided by the Czech
authorities and the people of the Czech Republic.
Next Meeting of the Committee
29. The next meeting of the IMFC will be held in Washington, D.C. on April 29, 2001.
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY AND FINANCIAL COMMITTEE ATTENDANCE
September 24, 2000
Members or Alternates
Hamad Al-Sayari, Governor, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency
(Alternate for Ibrahim A. Al-Assaf, Minister of Finance and National Economy, Saudi Arabia)
Eddie George, Governor, Bank of England
(Alternate for Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, United Kingdom)
Rod Kemp, Assistant Treasurer, Australia
(Alternate for Peter Costello, Treasurer, Australia)
Dai Xianglong, Governor, People's Bank of China
Dato' Shafie Mohd. Salleh, Deputy Minister of Finance, Malaysia
(Alternate for Tun Daim Zainuddin, Minister of Finance, Malaysia)
Rodrigo de Rato Figaredo, Second Vice President and Minister of Economy, Spain
Makhtar Diop, Minister of Economy and Finance, Senegal
(Alternate for Emile Doumba, Minister of Finance, Economy,
Budget, and Privatization, Gabon)
Hans Eichel, Federal Minister of Finance, Germany
Laurent Fabius, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, France
Abdelouahab Keramane, Governor, Banque d'Algérie
Mohammed K. Khirbash, Minister of State for Finance and Industry, Aleksei Kudrin, Deputy Chairman of the Government and
Minister of Finance, Russian Federation
José Luis Machinea, Minister of Economy, Argentina
Pedro Sampaio Malan, Minister of Finance, Brazil
Paul Martin, Minister of Finance, Canada
Masaru Hayami, Governor, Bank of Japan
(Alternate for Kiichi Miyazawa, Minister of Finance, Japan)
Mrs. Linah K. Mohohlo, Governor, Bank of Botswana
Sauli Niinistö, Minister of Finance, Finland
Didier Reynders, Minister of Finance, Belgium
Yashwant Sinha, Minister of Finance, India
Lawrence H. Summers, Secretary of the Treasury, United States
Kaspar Villiger, Minister of Finance, Switzerland
Vincenzo Visco, Minister of the Treasury, Budget and Economic Planning, Italy
Gerrit Zalm, Minister of Finance, Netherlands
Yilmaz Akyuz, Chief, Macro-Economics and Development Policies, UNCTAD
Andrew D. Crockett, Chairman, FSF
Willem F. Duisenberg, President, ECB
André Icard, Assistant General Manager, BIS
Donald J. Johnston, Secretary-General, OECD
Ian Kinniburgh, Director, Development Policy Analysis Division, Department of
Economic and Social Affairs, UN
Eddy Lee, Director, International Policy Group, ILO
Michael Moore, Director-General, WTO
Yashwant Sinha, Chairman, Joint Development Committee
Pedro Solbes Mira, Commissioner in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs,
James D. Wolfensohn, President, World Bank
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