Statement by IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato at the Conclusion of his Visit to the Philippines

Press Release No. 06/153
July 13, 2006

Mr. Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Manila:

"I am delighted to have had the chance to visit the Philippines. I want to thank the authorities for their very gracious hospitality. During my stay here, I had the opportunity to meet with Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. and other senior officials. I also met with members of the business and academic community.

"I had a fruitful exchange of views with the authorities on a range of issues, including how to reshape the IMF so it can better help countries meet the opportunities and challenges posed by globalization. In this context, I reviewed with the authorities how the IMF proposes to implement its Medium-Term Strategy, and I discussed how to best address critical issues such as enhancing governance of the institution by providing Asian countries with a greater voice in the IMF. I greatly value the discussions we have had. The authorities' advice will help the IMF in advancing the implementation of its Medium-Term Strategy, and will also aid in the preparations for the forthcoming IMF Annual Meetings in Singapore this September.

"Our discussions have also given me a deeper understanding of the Philippines' economic prospects. I am impressed by the significant progress that has been made with economic reforms. In particular, the authorities are to be commended for accelerating the pace of fiscal adjustment, including through the landmark VAT reform, and setting the country's public debt-to-GDP on a downward trend. We also discussed the challenges going forward and I fully support the priority the authorities attach to continue their reforms and further enhance the investment climate. These efforts should help to set the country on a higher sustainable growth path."



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