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Global Challenges, Global Solutions

Seminars at the IMF Spring Meetings 2012, Washington DC

The Political Economy of Subsidy Reform: Lessons for the MENA Region

Thursday, April 19, 2012 | 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. | IMF HQ2, Conference Hall 1

2011 was a historic year for the MENA region. Social and political upheaval in many countries triggered unprecedented change throughout the region that will take years to fully play out. Expectations for a better life and a more equitable economic system are high, but the challenges for policymakers to meet them are enormous. Fiscal reform that is effi cient and fair is key to promoting inclusive growth.

This panel discussion will focus on the experience of countries from MENA and outside the region in carrying out reform of subsidies, which in the MENA region are both unsustainably high and ineffi cient. Panelists will discuss how governments can address the challenges of phasing out universal price subsidies and introduce more targeted forms of social protection, and what lessons can be drawn for the MENA region.

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A Narrow Path for the Global Economy?

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | IMF HQ2, Conference Hall 1

Prospects for global growth have begun to gradually strengthen after suffering a setback in 2011. Improved activity in the United States and critical policy actions in the euro area reduced the immediate threat of a sharp global slowdown. However, recent gains are fragile and latest indicators have been less encouraging. Moreover, fundamental challenges remain unresolved—the recovery remains rather vulnerable and prone to setbacks, and unemployment remains stubbornly, and unacceptably, high in many advanced economies. Recent developments have provided a window of opportunity to get ahead of the crisis, but the window may be closing. Policymakers must forge ahead with bold and comprehensive action to engender a robust recovery. Growing global interconnectedness implies that effects from key downside risks materializing could be felt widely. The panel will discuss potential risks to the global recovery and policy responses.

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Asia's Rebalancing: Regional and Global Implications

Saturday, April 21, 2012 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. | IMF HQ1, Gallery, 2nd floor

With the nascent recovery in advanced economies remaining highly vulnerable to shocks, domestic sources of growth could help support Asia. Strengthening engines of growth within Asia, will not only make the region more resilient, but will also support the necessary shift in global demand from deficit to surplus economies. In 2011, the trade surplus of emerging Asia, led by China, has declined substantially. Is this evidence of the much needed rebalancing? If not, what is missing and what policies are needed to bring about sustainable adjustment? How would rebalancing in China and Asia affect the Asia region and the global economy? The panel will discuss these and related issues.

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World Bank-IMF 2011 Spring Meetings

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