Policy Options and Challenges for Developing Asia—Perspectives from the IMF and Asia

Conference hosted by the International Monetary Fund and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)
April 19-20, 2007, Tokyo, Japan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) hosted a 1½ day conference on “Policy Options and Challenges for Developing Asia—Perspectives from the IMF and Asia.” The conference was followed by a ½ day workshop on the World Bank/IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) Framework, where the DSA framework and country case studies using the framework will be presented. The conference and DSA workshop took place in Tokyo during April 19-20, 2007.

The conference brought together a group of senior officials from the region, IFIs, academics, and other stakeholders to discuss a range of challenges and policy options facing low–income countries (LICs) in the Asia–Pacific region. The conference also served to highlight some of the work being done within the IMF on LICs in the region and facilitate a dialogue on these issues with key counterparts in the context of the IMF's commitment under its Medium–Term Strategy to renew, improve, and better focus its effectiveness in supporting low–income countries.

Languages: English with English/Japanese simultaneous interpretation.

Conference Venue: Conference room (8th floor), Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Kasumigaseki Building, 3-2-5 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.


Thursday, April 19
09:00 Registration
Opening Session
Chair: Akira Ariyoshi (Director, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP), IMF)
09:45 Welcome remarks
Mr. Izumi Arai (Executive Director, JBIC)
Mr. Akira Ariyoshi (Director, OAP, IMF)
Session 1: Determinants of Economic Performance
Chair: Prof. Shinji Asanuma (Professor, Hitotsubashi University)
10:00 Determinants of Growth in Low-Income Asia
Speaker: Mr. Ari Aisen (Economist, IMF) [Presentation/Background Paper]
Discussants: Prof. Yasuyuki Todo (Assoc. Prof., University of Tokyo) [Presentation]
Prof. Hisanobu Shishido (Prof., Hitotsubashi University) [Presentation]
Trade Policy Openness and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Evidence
Speaker: Dr. P. N. Weerasinghe (Director, Central Bank of Sri Lanka) [Presentation/Background Paper]
Discussants: Mr. Syed Monjurul Islam (Joint Secretary, MOF, Bangladesh)
Prof. Shigeru Thomas Otsubo (Prof., Nagoya University) [Presentation]
12:00 Lunch hosted by JBIC for conference participants
Session 2: Inequality
Chair: Prof. Masahiro Kawai (Dean, ADBI)
13:30 Rising Inequality and Polarization in Asia
Speaker: Mr. Erik Lueth (Economist, IMF) [Presentation/Background Paper]
Discussants: Ms. Hidemi Kimura (Fellow, RIETI) [Presentation]
Dr. Tatsufumi Yamagata (Director, IDE-JETRO) [Presentation]
Finance, Inequality and the Poor
Speaker: Mr. Thorsten Beck (Senior Economist, WB) [Presentation/Background Paper]
Discussants: Prof. Akira Nishiyama (Assoc. Prof., Keio University) [Presentation/Paper]
Prof. Nobuhiko Fuwa (Assoc. Prof., Chiba University) [Presentation/Paper]
15:15 Coffee Break
Session 3: Financial Sector Issues
Chair: Mr. Shahid Yusuf (Economic Adviser, World Bank)
15:30 Dollarization and Its Effects on Growth and Financial Development in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
Speaker: Prof. Shinichi Watanabe (Professor, IUJ) [Presentation/Background Paper]
Discussants: Ms. Neav Chanthana (Deputy Governor, National Bank of Cambodia) [Presentation]
Dr. Kozo Kunimune (Director, IDE-JETRO) [Presentation]
Developing Financial Sectors in Low-Income Countries
Speaker: Ms. A. Noy Siackhachanh (Advisor, OREI, ADB) [Presentation]
Discussants: Prof. Hidenobu Okuda (Prof., Hitotsubashi University) [Presentation]
Mr. Thorsten Beck (Senior Economist, World Bank) [Presentation]
17:30 End of Day 1
18:30 Reception Hosted by IMF for Senior Officials and Presenters
Address: Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara (Director-General, International Bureau, MOF, Japan)
Friday, April 20
Session 4: Managing Natural Resources, ODA, and Workers' Remittances
Chair: Mr. Roger Kronenberg (Advisor, IMF)
09:15 Managing Natural Resource Booms in Asia
Speaker: Mr. Kotaro Ishi (Economist, IMF) [Presentation]
Discussants: Prof. Yuko Hashimoto (Assoc. Prof., Toyo University) [Presentation]
Mr. Toshiro Nishizawa (Deputy Director General, JBICI) [Presentation]
Budget Support and Aid Effectiveness: Experiences in Asia
Speaker: Mr. Hiroto Arakawa (Executive Director, JBIC) [Presentation/Background Paper]
Discussants: Prof. Masumi Shimamura (Assoc. Prof., GRIPS) [Presentation]
Mr. Shahid Yusuf (Economic Adviser, WB ) [Presentation]
11:00 Coffee Break
11:15 Macroeconomic Determinants of Workers' Remittances
Speaker: Ms. Marta Ruiz-Arranz (Economist, IMF)[Presentation /Background Paper, Working Paper1, Working Paper2]
Discussants: Mr. Toshinori Doi (Director, MOF, Japan)
Prof. Yasuyuki Sawada (Assoc. Prof., University of Tokyo) [Presentation]
Wrap-up Session
Chair: Mr. Akira Ariyoshi (Director, OAP, IMF)
12:30 Lunch Hosted by IMF for Senior Officials and Presenters (end of seminar)
Debt Sustainability Analysis Workshop
14:00 WB-IMF Debt Sustainability Framework
Speaker: Ms. Martine Guerguil (Division Chief, PDR, IMF)[Presentation]
15:15 Coffee Break
15:30 Case Studies: Bangladesh (Mr. Erik Lueth) [Presentation], Lao PDR (Mr. Kotaro Ishi) [Presentation] and Mongolia (Mr. Roger Kronenberg) [Presentation]
17:00 End of Day 2