News Brief: IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler Remarks on China Visit

September 13, 2002

Horst Köhler, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, made the following statement today in Beijing:

"Thank you very much for joining me this afternoon. I am very happy to be able to meet with you at the end of my third visit to China as Managing Director of the IMF. Every time I come here, I am deeply impressed by the progress that this country is making on so many fronts. China's rapid economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the past two decades. This success has also become a stabilizing factor in Asia, and made an important contribution to the growth of the world economy.

"During my visit, I have had an extremely useful exchange of views with Premier Zhu Rongji and other senior leaders of the Chinese government, including Vice Premier Wen Jiabao, Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng, Central Bank Governor Dai Xianglong, and Bank of China President Liu Mingkang.

"In our discussion, Premier Zhu explained the economic strategy that his government has employed over the past five years. We at the IMF support this strategy, in particular the way fiscal policy has been used to support domestic demand in the face of a global slowdown, by putting the country's resources into a major effort to upgrade the national infrastructure, which enhances China's long-term growth potential as well as improving the lot of poorer regions.

"Beyond the achievements already made, I am perhaps even more impressed by the government's clear vision of China's future and what that implies for the unfinished economic reform agenda. In a nutshell, I understand this vision to embrace a strong commitment to opening up China further to the outside world and to pursuing the reforms needed to successfully compete on the global stage. In this context, I congratulate China for its recent accession to the WTO—a bold and courageous step that I am convinced will pay off handsomely in the future.

"Premier Zhu and Vice Premier Wen also offered me a thoughtful analysis of China's unfinished economic reform agenda, including the further restructuring of state-owned enterprises and commercial banks; the creation of jobs and the raising of incomes for the rural population; and the management of the social costs of the transition. These are enormous challenges, but I am reassured by the way the authorities are approaching them, with careful study and detailed analysis. They are drawing on the lessons of other countries, and then implementing solutions that are tailored to China's specific circumstances and needs.

"China's approach demonstrates that it is possible to make globalization work for the benefit of all by enhancing stronger global growth, and by promoting international cooperation where all nations' legitimate interests are taken into account."


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