IMF Managing Director Visits Thailand and Participates in Thailand/ADB/IMF SeminarPress Release No. 12/257
July 12, 2012
Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Bangkok at the conclusion of her visit to Thailand:
“It has been a great pleasure to visit Thailand—my first trip here as Managing Director of the IMF. My visit to this dynamic and multi-faceted region has been uplifting and enriching. Visiting Bangkok is a wonderful way to conclude my trip. I was privileged to meet with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul and other senior officials.
“In my meeting with the Prime Minister, I emphasized the Fund’s continued engagement in Asia, and cooperation with ASEAN. The rise of Asia in the global economy is a defining development. Asia’s resilience in the face of the global crisis has reflected the greatly improved economic fundamentals put in place over the last decade. However, protracted stresses and risks elsewhere in an increasingly interconnected global economy, are a reminder of the fragile external environment. In this context, it is in Asia's interest to strengthen domestic sources of growth to rebalance their economies, and ensure more equitable and inclusive growth.
“Turning to Thailand, I noted that over the past year, the Thai economy has come through several difficult tests. The most difficult challenge was the historic 2011 floods that severely affected a large portion of the country. It is reassuring to see such a sharp rebound. This is a testament to the resilience of the Thai people, and supportive policies by the government. Looking ahead, a strategy that would build capacity including by investing in human capital and infrastructure, particularly in regions outside of Bangkok, would help sustain economic momentum.
“I am also delighted to announce the opening of a new office in Bangkok to support the Fund’s technical assistance for Myanmar and Lao PDR, in collaboration with the Bank of Thailand as well as Japan, which intends to make a financial contribution to the office's activities. We are very grateful for the generosity of the Thai authorities to host this new office at a critical moment when important technical assistance and capacity building needs are emerging in the region.
“I participated in a conference jointly hosted by Thailand's Finance Ministry, the Asian Development Bank, and the IMF and spoke at the inaugural Bank of Thailand Policy Forum. A resounding theme at both events was the importance of coordinated policy action to help improve global stability, particularly in today's vastly interconnected global economy. One of my key messages was also the importance of building a new and stronger partnership between Asia and the IMF.
“We welcome Thailand's support for the IMF's quota and governance reforms, which will ensure that emerging Asia has a strong voice at the IMF. I conveyed to Prime Minister Yingluck our appreciation of Thailand’s important role and voice. We also warmly welcome the US $1 billion pledge by Thailand to strengthen IMF resources.
“Finally, I would like to express my great appreciation to the government, the Bank of Thailand, and the people of Thailand for the hospitality extended to us during this visit. On behalf of the IMF, I look forward to our continued partnership.”