Press Release: Statement by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the Conclusion of his Visit to China

November 17, 2009

Press Release No. 09/411
November 17, 2009

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Beijing:

“It has been a great pleasure for me to make my second visit to China as Managing Director of the IMF. During this visit, I had the privilege of having valuable discussions with Vice Premier Wang Qishan, and fruitful meetings with People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Commerce Minister Chen Deming. I also addressed the International Finance Forum and visited Tsinghua University where I had an open exchange of views on a broad range of topics with faculty and students.

“The global economic situation and the leadership role China can play to sustain the recovery was a key focus of our discussions. In the last month or so, the world economy seems to have turned the corner, as financial conditions have improved and growth seems finally to be turning positive, with Asia playing a leading role. However, the global recovery is still fragile and depends heavily on public stimulus. Private demand in the industrial countries is not yet self-sustaining. Households and firms continue to rebuild their balance sheets and unemployment is still rising. Financial systems also have yet to be fully repaired. The recovery, therefore, is likely to be sluggish and the situation remains precarious.

“Nevertheless, the global economy appears to have avoided the catastrophe that could have unfolded as a result of the financial events of just a year ago. This was no accident. In fact, it was the result of an unprecedented policy collaboration that encompassed more countries than ever before. The Fund is playing a role in facilitating this interaction, and we appreciate China’s support in helping us to fulfill this role.

“China has not been immune to the downturn in the world economy. However, thanks in large measure to the government’s decisive and prompt policy response, China’s recovery is now increasingly well established and is a source of strength for the rest of Asia and indeed the world. We expect economic growth to be in the 8–9 percent range this year and next. Looking ahead, we fully support the government’s strategy to rebalance its growth model away from a heavy reliance on exports toward private consumption. A broad range of policies will be needed to achieve such a rebalancing. Part of the package of necessary reforms will include a further strengthening of the renminbi. China’s efforts, alongside those of deficit countries to increase their saving, should help to reduce global imbalances. I would also like to highlight China’s commendable commitment to participate in the IMF’s Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). Joint work to undertake that assessment is already well underway.

“Finally, I would like to note my personal gratitude to China for its continued support for the IMF’s central role in the international system, as well as for the financial support it has offered to the Fund in the form of the recent commitment to purchase up to around $50 billion of IMF notes, if needed. As the IMF continues to reform I trust that China will remain an important part of this process. We look forward to a continued close interaction in the period ahead.”


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