IMF ENGAGEMENT WITH ASIA
IMF to Reinforce Two-Way Partnership With Asia
IMF Survey online
June 19, 2010
- Conference to look at lessons from Asia’s recovery from global crisis
- Delegates will also take long-term view of Asia over next generation
- Focus to include how IMF can strengthen its engagement with Asia
The Korean government and the IMF will jointly host a high-level international conference in Daejeon, Korea, next month to share lessons from Asia’s rapid recovery from the global economic crisis.
The July 12–13 conference will bring together leading figures from around the world to examine Asia’s economic dynamism and evolving role in international policymaking. IMF Asia and Pacific Department Director Anoop Singh tells IMF Survey online that the event also aims to strengthen the two-way partnership and learning experience between Asia and the IMF.
IMF Survey online: On July 12-13, the Government of Korea and the Fund will co-host an international conference in Daejeon, Korea. What is the main purpose of holding this conference? And why now?
Anoop Singh: The main aim is to take our engagement with Asia to the next level, which is both to look at lessons learned from Asia’s remarkable recovery from the global crisis and to take a long-term view of Asia over the next generation.
On expected trends, Asia will become the largest economic region of the world, even larger than the G-7, over the next two decades—that is, by 2030. We think it is important for Asia, the global community, and certainly the Fund to work constructively and collaboratively as Asia grows, and to become aware that the benefits of this rapid transformation of Asia over the next generation extend well beyond Asia itself. Asia’s role in the G-20 mutual assessment process, under Korea’s leadership this year, is but one example of growing international collaboration.
IMF Survey online: Who will be the key conference participants and what types of issues will they discuss?
Anoop Singh: The conference will be attended by economic policymakers from the Asia and Pacific region, leaders from the private sector, academics, and other Asia experts, including from regional and international institutions.
The four key themes of the conference are to discuss how to build a shared vision to support sustained economic growth in Asia, while drawing lessons from the past in a candid and constructive manner; showcase Asia’s success in economic management, and highlight lessons for other regions; examine Asia’s growth model, its prospects going forward, and the implications of change for the global economy; and discuss Asia’s role in the international community, including in the IMF, in this process.
IMF Survey online: And what should our member countries in the region, as well as the Fund, expect as outcomes from this conference?
Anoop Singh: One of the key objectives is to listen to Asian leaders in the public and private sector, and engage in an open discussion on the future of Asia, the prospects and challenges, and the implications for the rest of the world.
Anoop Singh: “On expected trends, Asia will become the largest economic region of the world, even larger than the G-7, over the next two decades” (photo: IMF)
At the same time, this conference will provide an opportunity for the Fund to reflect on these views, and communicate more broadly how the Fund can strengthen its engagement with the region and how it can work as a partner with Asia in realizing Asia’s own vision for the future.
IMF Survey online: What are the particular challenges the Fund faces in strengthening its engagement with Asia?
Anoop Singh: One of the key challenges is to improve the understanding in Asia of the broadening range of the Fund’s work, such as through strengthening our emphasis on multilateral and regional surveillance, cross-border linkages, and spillovers, financial interconnectedness, and vulnerabilities—including through our Early Warning Exercise. These efforts complement our technical assistance and program engagement, which may have the greater familiarity in Asia, but here too our role and access have greatly changed and expanded.
Overall, we must ensure that the engagement is seen as a two-way partnership, where we benefit from the insights we get from policymakers, academics and other experts in Asia, and we are able to contribute by providing a global perspective.
To do all this, we need to build our presence in Asia, reach out much more across our stakeholders, and have a much more active engagement in the region.
IMF Survey online: Asia’s economic journey in the last decade or so has been a remarkable one. What lessons can the Fund draw from Asia’s successes?
Anoop Singh: Yes, I agree, Asia’s journey has been remarkable. The region has close to half of the world’s population, and its economic role will likely exceed that of the G-7 within a generation. Its leadership role in the current global crisis demonstrates the many improvements in the economic framework that have been put in place—and sustained—over the last decade.
Indeed, Asia’s remarkable resilience during the global crisis reaffirms the importance of robust macroeconomic frameworks and strong corporate and financial sector balance sheets. This also reaffirms the central role of sound economic management and robust private sectors in a globalized world, as well as that of regional cooperation that we see growing rapidly in Asia, and with which the Fund is keen to strengthen synergy.