Press Release: Lesotho Accepts Article VIII

March 11, 1998

The Government of Lesotho has notified the International Monetary Fund that it has accepted the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the IMF Articles of Agreement, with effect from March 5, 1997. Through this action, Lesotho undertakes to refrain from imposing restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions or from engaging in discriminatory currency arrangements or multiple currency practices without IMF approval. A total of 143 countries have now assumed Article VIII status.

By accepting the obligations of Article VIII, Lesotho gives confidence to the international community that it will pursue sound economic policies that will obviate the need to use restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions, and thereby contribute to a multilateral payments system free of restrictions.

Two of the main purposes of the IMF, as stated in its Articles of Agreement, are to facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and thereby to contribute to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income; and to assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments in respect of current transactions between IMF members. In seeking to achieve these objectives, the IMF exercises firm surveillance over the exchange rate policies of its members, and oversees the elimination of exchange restrictions which hamper the growth of world trade.

Lesotho has been a member of the IMF since July 25, 1968, and its quota1 in the IMF is SDR 23.9 million (about US$32 million).

1A member's quota in the IMF determines, in particular, the amount of its subscription, its voting weight, its access to IMF financing, and its allocation of SDRs.


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