Canada and the IMF
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"This was my first official visit to Canada since my appointment as Managing Director of the Fund more than a year ago, and I would like to extend my thanks for the warm welcome that has been extended to me in Ottawa.
"Canada plays a leading role in the IMF, and its Executive Director represents both Canada as well as Ireland and ten Caribbean nations at the Fund's Executive Board. My visit was a timely opportunity to consult with Canadian officials ahead of the Group of Eight summit next month, and to speak before the Press Club of Canada and describe some of the key challenges that the Fund and the broad international community are currently facing: global imbalances and the need to reduce poverty.
"I was pleased to be able to meet with Prime Minister Paul Martin, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, and Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge, and to discuss the preparations for the forthcoming G-8 Gleneagles Summit. This provided a useful opportunity to exchange views on the role of the Fund, and on our shared commitment to address large global current account imbalances, to seeing the Doha Round successfully completed, and to fostering an environment in which the Millennium Development Goals can be realized.
"We reviewed the G-8 proposal to relieve the debt of the world's poorest countries, and agreed the proposal goes a long way toward helping Heavily Indebted Poor Countries escape the burden of official debt service. I reaffirmed the IMF's commitment to work with our membership to examine the details, funding and implementation of the proposal and look forward to conclusion of an agreement by all Fund members.
"My meetings also left me impressed by the strength of macroeconomic policy making in Canada, which has delivered an enviable record of fiscal surpluses, inflation control, and strong growth, and has left the country well-positioned to cope with a still-uncertain global environment and the challenges of an aging population."
IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT