Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of her Visit to Peru

Press Release No. 11/433
November 28, 2011

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Lima:

“It was a great pleasure to come to Peru as the starting point of my first visit to Latin America as Managing Director of the IMF. I would like to express my appreciation to President Ollanta Humala, Finance Minister Miguel Castilla, Central Bank governor Julio Velarde and also Lima mayor Susana Villaran for their warm welcome.

“Peru is one of the most vibrant economies in the world. Economic performance over has been very strong, with the decade-long expansion - the longest on record - resulting in tripling of per capita income and a 20-point fall in poverty rates. Peru certainly has a lot to be proud of.

“While the country’s economic future looks very bright, the recent gains need to be protected from the risks of the global crisis. In this context, the authorities have prudently budgeted a small fiscal expansion in 2012, and the central bank has shifted to a neutral policy stance.

“As the authorities recognize, Peru can cement the gains over the past decade by moving toward more inclusive growth. It is no secret that more equal societies are associated with greater stability and more sustained growth. There are still some big challenges on the social agenda—widespread rural poverty, chronic malnutrition among indigenous children, lack of access to social services (especially in rural areas). These challenges can be effectively tackled with the joint efforts of the government, private sector and society in general.

“I also had the pleasure to discuss topics like job creation, sustainability and social inclusion with some of the people that are actually doing these things, small and medium entrepreneurs. As in many countries, SMEs are one of the key drivers of the Peruvian economy.

“Overall, I think Peru is on the right track and poised to reap the benefits from growth and stability. Once more, I would like to thank the Peruvian authorities and their people for their gracious hospitality.”



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