Press Release: Statement by IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato at the Conclusion of his Visit to Australia

June 14, 2006

Press Release No. 06/127

Mr. Rodrigo de Rato, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Sydney at the conclusion of his visit to Australia:

"I am pleased to have had the opportunity to visit Australia, the first visit of a Managing Director to Australia since 1998. I had the pleasure to meet with Prime Minister John Howard, Treasurer Peter Costello, Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, Opposition Finance Spokesperson Wayne Swan, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Glenn Stevens, and other senior officials and representatives of the academic and business communities.

"I am impressed with the strong performance of the Australian economy over the past 15 years. Other economies have much to learn from Australia, which is reaping the benefits of broad ranging structural reforms that have generated high productivity growth and falling unemployment. Skilled monetary management and prudent fiscal policies have kept inflation low and eliminated net public debt. This, together with the establishment of the Future Fund, means that Australia is well placed to face the challenge of ageing population that confronts an increasing number of economies.

"During my visit, I also had the opportunity to exchange views with the authorities on the IMF's Medium-Term Strategy, which aims at positioning the Fund to help countries take the opportunities and meet the challenges of 21st century globalization. I discussed how best to address critical issues such as ensuring fair voice for all members and quotas that reflect the evolving weight of countries in the global economy. I expressed my appreciation for Australia's positive role as chair of the G-20 in advancing reform of the IMF. The valuable dialogue I have just had with the Australian authorities will help the IMF to implement the Medium-Term Strategy, and will also aid preparations for the forthcoming Annual Meetings in Singapore in September."


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