Statement by IMF Managing Director Strauss-Kahn at the Conclusion of his Visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan

Press Release No. 09/210
June 15, 2009

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Astana at the conclusion of his visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan:

“This is my first visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan. I would like to thank the people of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Massimov and senior members of his economic team for the frank informative discussions and hospitality. I had an opportunity to discuss with a large public audience at the Government Academy the impact of the global financial crisis on Central Asia and the prospects for a speedy recovery. One conclusion that came out in the context of this discussion is that the importance of inter-regional trade and economic cooperation for prosperity and stability in the region cannot be underestimated.

“In my meeting with the Prime Minister we focused on the state of the banking sector and on the comprehensive strategy the government is developing to strengthen the banks and restore confidence in the system. I fully agree with the government’s objectives, and I offered the Prime Minister to provide IMF technical assistance to support the government restructuring plans for the banking sector. I share the view of the Prime Minister that putting the banking system on a sounder and more sustainable footing will require more reliance on domestic deposits rather than on external financing.

“We also reviewed the current exchange rate policy. I believe the policy is appropriate and should be maintained until the problems in the financial sector are resolved. Following that, a return to a more flexible exchange rate policy would be desirable.

“Overall, I welcome the authorities proactive response to the crisis. It is entirely appropriate and has helped to limit the negative effects on the economy. Policies supportive of growth and employment should continue and the Fund stands ready to co-operate with Kazakhstan in its efforts to secure sustainable economic growth, full employment, and higher standards of living for its population.”



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