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Monetary Council, Council of Finance Ministers, and International Monetary Fund

Eight Annual Regional Conference on Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic

Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua Guatemala

June 25–26, 2009

This year’s conference will take place against the background of an unprecedented global financial and economic crisis. While the region has been relatively sheltered from the direct financial fallout of the crisis, its economies are, nonetheless, being hit hard as a result of their strong external linkages with the U.S. and other advanced economies where the crisis originated.

In this turbulent global environment, the conference will provide a forum to take stock of the first-round effects of the crisis on countries of the region, assess the near-term outlook and exchange views on the appropriate macroeconomic and financial sector policies for the period ahead. The conference will also provide an opportunity to review the lessons for financial sector policies that are being drawn in the aftermath of the global crisis and discuss their possible implications for Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.

The event is not open to the public, but concludes with a Press Conference

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
INAUGURATION CEREMONY REGIONAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER FOR CENTRAL AMERICA, PANAMA, AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (CAPTAC-DR)
  Bank of Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala
15th Floor
  Open to the Press
6:00–6:15 p.m.

Opening Remarks

María Antonieta de Bonilla, President, Central Bank, Guatemala

 

Inauguration

Alvaro Colom, President of the Republic of Guatemala

6:15–6:45 p.m.

Speakers

Agustín Carstens, Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Mexico

Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

6:45–7:45 p.m. Cocktail Reception
Thursday, June 25, 2009
12:30–2:00 p.m. Informal Lunch
2:00–2:30 p.m.

Opening Remarks

María Antonieta de Bonilla, President, Central Bank, Guatemala

Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director, IMF


  Begin closed session—media withdraws
2:45–4:15 p.m.

Session 1

The Global Economic Crisis—Impact on the Region and Policy Responses

The world economy is in the midst of an unprecedented recession and global financial crisis. While Central America has been relatively sheltered from the first wave of financial strains caused by the crisis, its economies are being hit hard as a result of their strong linkages to the United States and other advanced economies where the problems originated. This session will review the global and regional economic outlook, assess its implications for Central America, and discuss policy options for the near term.

Chair

Alex Segovia, Technical Secretary of the Presidency, designate, El Salvador (invited)

Speakers

Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Director, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF

Francisco de Paula Gutiérrez, President, Central Bank, Costa Rica (invited)

  Discussion
4:15–4:45 p.m. Coffee break
   
4:45–6:15 p.m.

Session 2

Central America’s Financial System in the midst of a Global Crisis—Part I: Taking Stock

The financial systems of the region have weathered the storm well so far and remain fairly solid and liquid. However, a prolonged global recession is likely to put increasing stress on these systems. This session will review financial sector developments in the region, compare measures taken, and discuss how to strengthen crisis preparedness and bank resolution frameworks, both at the national and regional level.

Chair

Antenor Rosales, President, Central Bank of Nicaragua

Speaker

Miguel Savastano, Senior Advisor, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF

Commentator

Edgar Barquín, President, Central American Council of Financial Sector Superintendents and Superintendent, Guatemala (invited)

  Discussion
7:30–8:00 p.m. Reception
   
8:00–10:00 p.m.

Dinner

Introduction

María Antonieta de Bonilla, President, Central Bank, Guatemala

Dinner speaker

Agustín Carstens, Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Mexico (invited)

Topic

To be announced

Friday, June 26, 2009—Donors of CAPTAC-DR Invited
   
8:30–10:30 a.m.

Session 3

Central America’s Financial System in the midst of a Global Crisis—Part II: Reform Proposals and Possible Implications for the Region

The global financial crisis has revealed significant shortcomings in supervisory and regulatory frameworks for financial systems, which call for remedial steps. While specific reform proposals are still being developed, there is a growing consensus on the need to expand the perimeter of regulation, improve cross-border and cross-functional cooperation, reduce procyclicality, strengthen public disclosure practices and increasing scope to provide liquidity and contain credit and asset booms. This session reviews current reform proposals and discuss their potential implications for Central America, Dominican Republic, and Panama.

Chair

To be announced

Speakers

Carlos Medeiros, Division Chief, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF

Commentator

To be announced

  Discussion
10:30-11:00 a.m.

Closing Remarks

Edwin Araque, President, Central American Monetary Council

Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Director, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF

11:00–11:30 a.m. Press Conference
1:45–2:30 p.m. Informal Lunch
  First Steering Committee Meeting Regional Technical Assistance Center (CAPTAC-DR)
12:00–2:00 p.m. By Invitation only