Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of her Visit to Croatia

July 12, 2017

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Dubrovnik:

“It has been a great pleasure to be in Croatia. I participated in a joint IMF/Croatian National Bank conference on “Reaccelerating Convergence in Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe: The Role of Governance and Institutions.” I also had an important and invaluable exchange of views with economic policymakers from throughout the region during a roundtable discussion in Dubrovnik.

"In many ways, the region is an incredible success story, having transformed successfully from centrally planned economies to market-based systems in less than a generation. But convergence with advanced Europe has slowed since the global financial crisis. Good governance and strong institutions can play a crucial role in speeding up the convergence process and making growth more durable and inclusive.

"I also had engaging and substantive meetings with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalić, Croatian National Bank Governor Boris Vujcić, Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić, and their colleagues.

"I welcomed Croatia’s growth for the third year in a row after a long recession, its strong fiscal outcome in 2016, and its exit from the EU’s Excessive Deficit Procedure in June 2017. I encouraged efforts to strengthen Croatia’s economic defenses, including through further reducing debt, which would provide room to maneuver in case economic conditions deteriorate. I also emphasized the importance of fiscal and structural reforms to improve competitiveness and boost private sector growth and employment opportunities, especially for women and youth.

“I would like to thank the authorities and the Croatian people for their warm welcome and gracious hospitality.”

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