News from Asia and Pacific

Young Aspirants Gain Hands-on Experience in IMF Economic Analysis

June 22, 2019, Tokyo – Young aspirants to be macroeconomists enjoyed an opportunity to gain insights into, and hands-on experience of, IMF economic surveillance and policy recommendations at a two-day overnight workshop held in Tokyo.

The workshop, organized by the IMF Regional Office for the Asia and the Pacific (OAP) from 21-22 June, welcomed 20 participants – most of them graduate students – from 14 universities and with 11 different nationalities. Dr. Jerald Schiff, former Deputy Director of the IMF Asia and Pacific Department (APD) who now teaches at American University, delivered lectures that gave an overview of how the IMF analyzes macroeconomic issues and designs lending programs. He also shared his personal experiences at the IMF where he held a number of senior positions.

After learning basics from the lectures, participants were grouped into fours and tasked to conduct their own analysis on the economy of Brazil. While the demanding task meant some groups had to stay up late at night to prepare for their presentations, it was well-received.

“The assignment itself was very hands-on and reflects real life situations where many times you are required to accomplish tasks in a limited amount of time with a very limited amount of data”, said Mr. Jason Agius, one participant who is now pursuing his master’s degree in economics. Ms. Secil Er, another participant from a PhD program, also said she enjoyed the workshop: “Studying the country examples was also very helpful in understanding how the IMF conducts surveillance in member states”

The workshop was the 7th edition of the Macroeconomist Training Program under the OAP’s Initiative for Macroeconomists of the Future. It was organized in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The initiative was launched in summer 2017 as part of OAP’s efforts to reach out to wider audiences, in particular to youth, to raise awareness of the IMF’s work and to foster future economists. Increasing in popularity, it is organized regularly and has already welcomed nearly 150 participants. The next edition is expected to be held in early 2020.


Photo (Right): Ms. Secil Er carefully listens to the lecture at the workshop.

Photo (Left): Mr. Jason Agius receives the certificate from Dr. Jerald Schiff at the end of program.