IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets President Park, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-Seok and Other Senior Officials in Korea

December 5, 2013

Press Release No. 13/491
December 5, 2013

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), today issued the following statement in Seoul at the conclusion of her visit to Korea:

“I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Korean authorities for welcoming me during my first visit to Korea as Managing Director of the IMF. I had the privilege of meeting with President Park Geun-hye, the first female head of state of Korea. I also had productive and wide-ranging discussions with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-Seok, Bank of Korea Governor Kim Choongsoo, and other senior officials.

“As one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative economies, Korea is poised to play an important leadership role in the global economy of tomorrow. It has propelled itself from being among the poorest countries in the world in 1960s to one of the richest—the world’s 13th prosperous economy, with an enviable degree of equity.

“Korea is even more resilient than it was five years ago at the start of the global financial crisis, as policymakers have used the time wisely, making sure banks have healthy capital buffers and lower short term external debt, and deploying macroprudential policies proactively to tame financial risks.

“I am convinced Korea can enhance its economic dynamism by making its growth more broad-based and inclusive—less segmented and more welcoming of women—and making the services sector more dynamic, competitive, and productive. With implementation of the right package of reforms, Korea could keep growth at 3½ to 4 percent over the next decade in spite of fast population aging.

“Korea has been a strong supporter of multilateralism and global cooperation, as evident in its increasingly active role on global issues. Korea—and indeed all of Asia—also plays a growing role at the IMF, and has been a steadfast supporter of the IMF in our response to the global financial crisis. I am also pleased to have recently appointed Changyong Rhee, a Korean national, as the new Director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.

“I thank Korea for its generous contribution of $15 million over the next five years to bolster the IMF’s capacity development activities. This is an investment in the future and global solidarity—it will help the IMF to meet the demands of member countries for our technical assistance and training initiatives in the years to come.

“I was energized and encouraged by the creativity, dynamism, and optimism of the Korean women, entrepreneurs, and youth that I met in the past two days, including at the Seoul National University where I had a town hall meeting with the students.

“I would like to once again express my deep gratitude to the Korean government and people for their gracious hospitality and I look forward to visiting Korea again in the future.”


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