Statement by IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato at the Conclusion of the Regional Seminar for Economic Journalists from the Middle East

Press Release No. 06/290
December 19, 2006

Mr. Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at the conclusion of a Middle East regional seminar for economic journalists:

"Mr. Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at the conclusion of a Middle East regional seminar for economic journalists.

"This seminar was an important opportunity to discuss economic policy challenges in the Middle East and the IMF's role in supporting the region's efforts to face them. The IMF is also undertaking reforms in the context of its Medium-Term Strategy to strengthen our contribution to resolving regional and global economic challenges. The media also has a role to play in this process, by stimulating informed public debate about economic policies. This seminar provided a forum for a productive and insightful exchange of views with media representatives from the Middle East.

"Today our discussions explored the issue of capacity building of national institutions. Enhancing the capacity of such institutions to conduct macroeconomic analysis and implement policies effectively is critical to sustaining high rates of growth. Research at the IMF indicates that strengthening institutions in the Middle East would boost real per capita GDP by 150 percent. To help the region build this capacity the Fund is providing tailored, decentralized and flexible technical assistant through the Middle East Technical Assistance Center, which currently has operations in 10 countries.

"I welcome the participants' views on IMF reform and the Medium-Term Strategy launched by Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato and being implemented by the Fund and its membership. The MTS is motivated by the fact that the world financial and economic system is evolving, and the IMF needs to modernize both its governance structure and its toolkit to better reflect the needs of its 184 member countries and the challenges they face in the 21st century."



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