Opening Remarks by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde At the Signing Ceremony for 2012 Bilateral Borrowing AgreementsTokyo, Friday, October 12, 2012
As prepared for delivery
Ministers and Governors, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my great pleasure and honor to welcome you all to this ceremony to sign the first group of 2012 bilateral borrowing agreements.
I was very pleased by the response of our membership—countries both large and small—which rallied to the call to strengthen our capacity to meet the potential financing needs of all of the Fund’s members during this time of crisis.
By the time of the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, in June 2012, we had received firm pledges totaling over US$456 billion—enough to almost double the Fund’s current lending capacity—and this number could rise further in the next few days. This was an important demonstration of support and solidarity. I am particularly grateful for those in the membership who led the way with early commitments to this effort.
The Executive Board approved last Friday the first set of 10 agreements on which discussions are finalized. I am pleased to say that these agreements comprise US$286 billion or well over half of the total amount pledged.
Today, we will sign the first seven of these agreements. These are with the host nation of our Annual Meetings, Japan, which is very fitting as Japan has made the largest single commitment, as well as with the Deutsche Bundesbank, France, Banca d’Italia, Saudi Arabia, Norges Bank, and Danmarks Nationalbank.
I would like to thank all of these members and their institutions for their cooperation in the successful conclusion of these bilateral discussions, which has brought us to this important juncture. These agreements are critical to strengthen the global firewall.
I am pleased to say that discussions are well underway with the other members and institutions who have pledged and our intention is to bring these agreements to conclusion as soon as possible.
Let us now proceed with the signing of the agreements.