IMF Launches Middle East Youth Dialogue

Press Release No. 10/56
February 22, 2010

In Lahore, Pakistan, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) launched today the IMF Youth Dialogue, a series of roundtable discussions with university students across the Middle East, Pakistan, and North Africa.

The objective of this initiative is to work with the next generation of leaders to get their perspectives on their economic future and to motivate their thinking at an early stage on policy measures that will be needed to secure sustainable economic growth in the region.

At the Lahore School of Economics, fourth-year undergraduate students exchanged views with IMF staff on ways to address economic policy challenges facing Pakistan, the region, and its youth. The IMF will hold similar events with students from universities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates through March 2010. The roundtable discussions are the beginning of a process of engaging with youth in the region, and they will be followed by other events to continue and deepen the dialogue.

“We expect all levels of the IMF management and staff to be active participants in this Youth Dialogue. Not only is this symbolic of our commitment to engagement with future leaders in the region, but it also represents our view that economic policy outcomes require long-range thinking and effort,” said Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department.

"The Youth Dialogue initiative is an opportunity for students to engage with the IMF on the issue that matters most to them: giving the youth a voice in shaping their economic future in the post-crisis world. We will be listening—and sharing with the students the work that we are doing to help strengthen the economies of the region," said Paul Ross, IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan. “Ultimately, we will also distill what we hear and share it with the policy-making community.”

The Youth Dialogue will also have an online dimension with a website where visitors can interact and post their thoughts: www.imfyouthdialog.org



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