Transcript of October 2022 MD Kristalina Georgieva Press Briefing on GPA

October 13, 2022


Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF

Gerard Thomas Rice, Director of the Communications Department

Mr. Rice: Thanks, everybody. Warm welcome. Good morning to everyone and welcome to these Annual Meetings. This is as usual our opening press conference for the meetings, and I think you all have been watching what has been happening the last few days. We have been releasing our flagship documents, the World Economic Outlook, et cetera, and more to come over the next few days, starting right now. As the Managing Director just pointed out, we have our Global Policy Agenda, which you have all received, and we will be talking a bit about that later today.

With that, thanks to all of you for coming this morning. It is so great after three years to see colleagues in the room and, of course, we do have colleagues online as well, and we will try to take their questions too.

With that, I want to turn to the Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, who will make some opening remarks, and then we will try to take as many of your questions as we can. Kristalina.

Ms. Georgieva: Thank you very much, Gerry. A very good morning to everybody in the room and whatever the time is, where you are. So good to have you virtually at this press conference.

I cannot hide the joy I experience by being with you in this room in person again, but I also cannot hide the fact that this joy is overshadowed by the difficult global environment, by the fact that we have a world economy that has been hit by one shock after another, an unrelenting pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, climate disasters on all continents, and now a cost of living crisis.

The immediate toll on the global economy is clear. You saw on Tuesday the IMF cutting our growth forecast for 2023 to 2.7 percent. Across many economies, recession risks are rising. And even when growth remains positive, for hundreds of millions of people, it would feel like a recession because of rising prices and shrinking incomes. On top of it, risks to financial stability are also growing.

Uncertainty remains exceptionally high. The World Economic Outlook shows a one in four chance, in other words, 25 percent chance that global growth could drop to a historic low of 2 percent next year. These repeated shocks we have experienced, the growth setbacks, they raise a bigger question. Are we experiencing a fundamental shift in the world economy from relative predictability and stability to greater uncertainty and volatility? And what does it mean for policymakers? Clearly a much more complex time. And that requires steady hands on the policy levers. And this is what our Global Policy Agenda we release today calls for. The price of policy missteps, the price of poor communication of policy intentions is very high.

This week we have an opportunity to work towards minimizing the risks of missteps and poor communication. Let me give you a few highlights. In this context of us appealing to policymakers to act with a sense of urgency now and to act together, we see very clear areas where we can do better even in this more complex environment.

First, bring inflation down. We know that rising interest rates come at some cost to growth, but we also know that not tightening enough to put a leash on inflation would mean interest rates staying higher for longer, resulting in even more harm to growth and to people. For central banks, this means taking decisive action when it is necessary, but also it means communicating as clearly as they can.

Second, act now to put in place responsible fiscal policy. We must prioritize protecting the vulnerable, the vulnerable households, the vulnerable businesses that are so important for the economy to function. But we have to do that with fiscal buffers exhausted. Because of the pandemic, levels of debt are very high, and so the obvious conclusion is that policy measures need to be well targeted and they need to be temporary.

Steer away from across-the-board fiscal support that is neither effective nor affordable. If we are to help people and fight inflation, we must ensure that fiscal and monetary policy go hand in hand.

You heard me saying that multiple times. I am going to say it again because it is so important for this message to penetrate. When monetary policy puts a foot on the brakes, fiscal policy should not step on the accelerator because if it does, we are in for a very dangerous ride.

Third, we need to act now to safeguard financial stability. Particularly as we see rising financial sector risks, macroprudential policies need to be even more vigilant and address proactively pockets of vulnerability.

In this environment, we also must support vulnerable emerging markets and developing countries. It is tough for everybody, but it is even tougher for countries that are now being hit by a stronger dollar, high borrowing costs, capital outflows, a triple blow that is particularly heavy for countries that are under a high level of debt.

So, zeroing in on that, and this is already happening this week, especially for low-income countries where over 60 percent are at or near debt distress, is paramount. We need stronger efforts to confront food insecurity. 345 million people are acutely food insecure. What it means is that there are children, women, and men who are at risk of dying because of hunger.

We are also taking a look into the future. The future is not going to wait. We need transformational reforms to address climate change, to make digitalization work for people in the economy, and to address inequality. So, we have to do it not only acting with a sense of urgency now, but we also have to do it acting together.

We are working with our 190 members on many of these issues. Our economic analysis is front and center to help countries navigate this complex environment and avoid policy mistakes. Our lending is aligned with our countercyclical role.

Since the pandemic began, we provided financial support to 93 countries, some $260 billion. Since the Russian invasion in February, we have supported 18 new programs. These are new programs and augmentation of existing programs with close to $90 billion. And we now have additional 28 requests for support from the Fund. And that comes on top of the $650 billion SDR allocation.

You are aware that we have an ambition of $100 billion on lending of SDRs for countries in strong positions. I am sure those of you who follow the topic want to know where we are. We are 80 percent to target. We have just crossed over $80 billion. And we are absolutely determined to reach the target in the next months.

We have created our first ever longterm financing instrument to support the transformation of economies, the Resilience and Sustainability Trust. It is now operational. We have pledges of $40 billion , and we have staff level agreements for the first three countries crossing the finish line, Barbados, Costa Rica, and Rwanda. For countries suffering from the food crisis, we have expeditiously opened up a window in emergency financing, the Food Shock Window, to provide rapid financing to urgent needs.

Let me say finally a word on debt. We are pressing for a more effective debt resolution mechanism. We want the Common Framework to become more predictable with guidelines and able to bring equality of treatment for all creditors, public and private. And we are also looking for ways in which we can expand that kind of donor coordination to middle-income countries, such as Sri Lanka.

So, we have a lot to do during this week. And it is so important that we do demonstrate we understand the urgency to act, and we understand that acting together makes a difference to the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Thank you very much for being here this morning. And Gerry, the floor is back to you.

Mr. Rice: Thank you very much, Kristalina. We will release Kristalina's remarks pretty much in real-time so that helps you to follow them. Can I ask everyone to be very succinct, very short? We will try to be the same. We will try to take as many questions as we can. Let us start with Reuters, David Lauder, David, can you put up your hand so they can find you? Thank you.

Question: Hi. Thank you, Managing Director. Great to be here in person, especially for Gerry's final set of meetings. I am just wondering, you have laid out a whole lot of risks that you are dealing with, a lot of risks, a lot of challenges. First and foremost, among them you seem to be indicating that inflation is the top priority, the number one thing to do. Do you think that they can realistically be tamed while this war in Ukraine is still going on, which has created so many shocks, so much increase in energy and food prices, which are driving the inflation? Do we need to have the war end before we can really tame inflation? Thank you.

Ms. Georgieva: David, I want to thank you for recognizing Gerry. To those of you who have known Gerry for many years, you can only imagine how my heart is bleeding that we are going to see him taking a new part in life path. I know we do not do this at press conferences but give this guy a big round of applause. He is fantastic. (Applause). Honest, approachable, and all dedicated to transparency, to accountability to the public, this is Mr. Gerry Rice.

OK. To your question. I do believe that there is a lot that can be done to tame inflation using the monetary policy tools. Why do I think so? Because we know that during the pandemic, there has been a build‑up of demand. And we see in the United States, in other places, labor markets being very tight. And at the same time, we have two sources of supply interruptions, the interruptions caused by COVID and those caused by the pushup of oil and gas prices.

Now, in any case, when you have a slowdown of the economy, that would mean that also commodity prices would be impacted, and, therefore, that would be dependent on whether the war goes on or not. We can see a positive impact on inflation by tightening up financial conditions.

I do want to recognize that we need to very carefully study the inflation phenomenon in this new world we find ourselves today. Why? Because fragmentation in the world economy also means that we might see shifts in supply chains that impact cost structures on a more permanent basis. That is not what monetary policy can address. But, David, there is plenty that monetary policy can and must address because of this mismatch between demand and supply that is also due to demand being still quite heated.

I am convinced that if we do not restore price stability, we will undermine prospects for growth. We would create more uncertainty for investors, and we would put consumers in a very difficult spot. You all know inflation is a tax on the lower income parts of our society and, therefore, cannot be allowed to fester for longer, but you do put an important question. We do need to look into what may be longer term impacts of shifts in supply chains on the overall level of price. And this is another reason why we are so keen to bring the world together and keep the world together because if we lose the benefits of a more integrated global economy, we all would be poorer, and the impact would be felt most dramatically in emerging markets and developing countries.

Mr. Rice: Thank you, Kristalina. As usual, we will try to do a tour of the world as quickly as we can, so keep it short if you can, please. Shabtai from Devex right here in the front row.

Question: Thank you very much for taking my question. Given the outlook and all the risks that you have highlighted and particularly the fight against inflation, which could cause some slowdowns for emerging markets, what is your prognosis for the most vulnerable, particularly if overseas aid is not increased and if the war in Ukraine carries on? Basically, how much longer can these vulnerable countries hang on?

Ms. Georgieva: Let me start with the most dramatic of shocks vulnerable countries are experiencing, and that is the food shock. We have identified 48 countries that are particularly severely impacted by food insecurity. You would not be surprised that quite a large number of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region of the world that is most profoundly impacted by food insecurity at any time. We have been engaging with countries and mobilizing support not just from the Fund but from the international community, working together with the World Bank, with the World Food Program, with the FL, with the World Trade Organization, because we need not just one set of measures, we need a comprehensive set of measures to address this particular vulnerability.

The second big vulnerability for these countries is debt. And what we are appealing for is to make the Common Framework more attractive. We have now some modest successes with Zambia and Chad, but we do not yet see other country knocking on the door of the Common Framework. Why? Because the process is not very predictable. It is like you are entering a tunnel. You do not know where the other side of the tunnel is. Because the way we bring all creditors is lumpy. You have the official creditors on one side. Then you have the private sector creditors. So, we have to expeditiously draw lessons from Zambia and Chad, what has worked and how, and then apply it to countries to get that response to that insecurity—to debt not being sustainable, to get response much more actively. I do hope during the meetings there would be huge attention paid and rightly so to this topic.

Mr. Rice: Thank you, Kristalina. Let me recognize Colby Smith, the Financial Times. Colby, can you raise your hand? Thank you.

Question: Thank you. Colby Smith at the Financial Times. In light of the vast uncertainty about the outlook and all the warnings about the global economy and the financial stability risks, I am wondering if you worry that the Fed risks breaking something perhaps by continuing with this very rapid 75 bases point pace and if that is something it should reconsider. And second to that, if you are concerned that Central Banks are going to need to reconvene like the Bank of England in order to shore up financial stability even as they press ahead with interest rate increases.

Ms. Georgieva: To your first question, it was very telling and encouraging to listen to Secretary Yellen yesterday. She recognizes the potential impact of policies in the United States for the rest of the world, and that is also the position that the Fed Chair, Jay Powell, is taking, that the Fed needs to be mindful of the impact it might have. This being said, we all recognize that the central banks mandate is price stability at home. And they have to pursue this mandate because think of the scenario in which inflation in the United States does not get under control for a long period of time, bad for the U.S., but it has spillover effects for the rest of the world. How can the U.S. be mindful of impact? Of course, first, by communicating very clearly what are the intentions and forming these intentions in a thoughtful manner, as they have been doing. And second, the U.S. has other instruments to support countries. I think that they have been quite prudent. For example, the Fed is using swap lines very actively to help other countries. And the U.S. has been very focused on food security, on also supporting us, the IMF, the World Bank, in providing extending support to other countries.

But I want to be clear. The reason we are endorsing a strong focus on inflation is because inflation has been quite stubborn, and the risk of inflation expectations de-anchoring has become more visible. We cannot possibly allow inflation to become a runaway train. It is bad for growth and bad for people, bad especially for poor people.

Mr. Rice: Thank you, Kristalina. Let us go to Africa, Simon in the front here, Simon Ateba, Africa Today.

Question: Thank you for taking my question. Glad to see you also at your last press conference. Glad to see you, Ms. Georgieva, in person after three years, especially after some people tried to distract you with a false story, but that is in the past now. In recent days you have repeatedly spoken about a darkened economy outlook and one against a deepening food crisis in Africa, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. I would like you to talk a little bit in detail about the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Where are we now? What specific policy recommendations do you have for Africa? And how should lenders and financial institutions such as the IMF respond? And how tightening is the overall situation in Africa? And if you can touch a little bit about the situation in the Horn of Africa where we have the biggest humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia right now. Thank you.

Ms. Georgieva: Thank you very much for asking this question because of all regions in the world, Africa finds itself in the most precarious position. Why? Because Africa was already affected by food insecurity due to climate events. We sometimes forget that the Horn of Africa and the Sahel were experiencing food insecurity and for Somalia, there was already concern that it could become very dramatic even before the war in Ukraine.

We also know that Africa is unfortunately where we were as a global community a bit slow to provide the necessary vaccination support to fight COVID and, as a result, we have the scarring from COVID in many countries more severe. Just think what it means for children that are out of school for two years to then try to resume classes. Many drop out, especially girls, and that can have implications for quite some time.

But there are positive stories we can tell. Many countries in Africa over the last decade have built strong fundamentals. They have worked very hard to increase their tax-to-GDP ratio, so they have the financial capacity to support their economies and their people. And now they are faced with the need of the international community to stand by them. So, what is our advice to Africa? First, do stick to prudent macroeconomic policies. What we have seen in the COVID crisis, countries that had strong fundamentals, like people with strong immune systems, they withstood the shock much better than others.

Second, for this moment in time, if you are seeing problems on the debt side, act early. And as I said, 60 percent of [low-income] countries [MJ1] are at or near debt distress. Do not hesitate. Do not wait.

Third, use the support system that the multilateral banks and the IMF is providing for you. And there we are mobilizing very firmly, I mentioned the Food Shock Window, but we are also moving in many countries with upper credit tranche programs. I met with a number of presidents and finance ministers from Africa to say, “let us work together to come out of this tough time with an even stronger position.” And above all, it is so important that Africa does not waiver from the big, big policy decisions like the Continental Free Trade Agreement to implement them because there is so much Africa can do for Africa just by removing obstacles to growth on the basis of African integration.

My mantra has always been, what is the strength of Africa? The young population. How can you make use of this strength? Invest in young people, invest in digital connectivity, invest in competitiveness for the future.

Mr. Rice: Thank you, Kristalina. Let us go to the Middle East, the lady in the front row.

Question: Mina Al Oraibi, The National. The Middle East, of course, has a mixed picture, but you are speaking about the threat of runaway inflation, which we see in Lebanon, and it seems that hardly any monetary policy can deal with the devastating impact of inflation at 200 percent or more, and yet we worry about a vacuum in political power, and the IMF has been very clear on its conditions.

My first question about Lebanon is, what can we do, given the circumstances there and how the IMF sees the threat of this political instability? But more importantly also, this week we heard about the possibility of this deal between Lebanon and Israel, maritime borders, and possibly some light for the energy crisis and also the economic crisis, what impact can that have for Lebanon and the region? Thank you.

Ms. Georgieva: Thank you. Let us celebrate when there is something to celebrate. This agreement is a reason to celebrate. But it would only materialize as a source of growth and opportunities for Lebanon if we are to have a clear commitment on a political level to work for the stability of Lebanon. And I would appeal to everybody who is in the high corridors of power in Lebanon to put your country, your people first. We have a staff level agreement. We cannot move. Why? Because the prior actions we have identified that are for the benefit of the Lebanese people are not yet met. There is still this paralysis. It can only be resolved by the political leaders in Lebanon putting aside what divides them and getting to a point of serving the people of Lebanon who deserve no less.

Mr. Rice: Thank you, Kristalina. Let us turn to the U.K. I see Larry Elliot. Maybe we will take two from the U.K. Larry, you are up first.

Question: Thank you. Larry Elliott with the Guardian. There are reports coming out of London that the Chancellor is planning to axe some of the measures that he announced on September 23rd. Do you think that would help calm financial markets and remove some of the financial stability risks that you talked about in your opening remarks?

Mr. Rice: Thanks, Larry. Let us take one more from the U.K. in the front row. Yes, sir.

Question: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mark Stone from Sky News. You said in your opening remarks that a complex time requires steady hands on the policy levers, so my question simply is, do you think the British government's hands are steady?

Mr. Rice: Let us just take one more. Lady in the front and then we will be done with the U.K.

Question: My question is to reiterate, given what you said about policy missteps and poor communication, how concerned are you about the ongoing demand for internal [inaudible] driven by legal governments' actions and duties? And do you see the Prime Minister will have to reverse additional tax cuts to calm the markets down?

Ms. Georgieva: Let me start by sharing with you, I had a very constructive meeting with the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England. We discussed the importance of policy coherence and communicating clearly so there can be no—in this jittery environment, there could be more reasons for jitter.

To those who are here from the U.K., you have a country with strong institutions and strong traditions of transparent evidence-based policymaking. And it is the foundation of these institutions, of course, the independent Bank of England, the Office for Budget Responsibility, the engagement of the Parliament, the public, you from the press, that gives the reputation of the U.K. of a country with strength in economic policymaking.

Our message to everybody, not just with the U.K., to everybody at this time, fiscal policy should not undermine monetary policy because if it does, then the task of monetary policy becomes only harder, and it translates into the necessity for even further increase of rates and tightening financial conditions. So do not prolong the pain. Make sure that actions are coherent and consistent. I do believe it is correct to be led by evidence, so if the evidence is that there has to be a recalibration, it is right for governments to do so, and the Bank of England action was appropriate. There was risk to financial stability. The Bank of England addressed it, notwithstanding the commitment it has to pursuing its main monetary policy objective, which is price stability.

Mr. Rice: Thank you very much, Kristalina. Let us keep going around the world. Argentina, Rafael, please, in the front row.

Question: Thank you very much, Gerry. A warm welcome to you at your last Annual Meetings. Ms. Georgieva, good morning. Argentina has passed two reviews on its IMF program, but inflation has gone up, growth has gone down, political risks remain very high, and the economy is still very fragile according to the IMF staff.

What do you think is the best-case scenario Argentina could hope for going forward with this program? And the IMF has been very accommodating to Argentina's request. How flexible do you think the IMF is willing to be in order to keep this program afloat? Thanks.

Ms. Georgieva: Our commitment is to the people of Argentina, and what they expect is their government will take to heart the need to bring inflation down, to provide a platform for growth to accelerate, and that is what we support with our program.

We are fully mindful that not just in Argentina, in many countries, there is pressure from the public that goes in the opposite direction of what is best for people, pressure to increase spending when it is not affordable and when it fuels inflation. And what we are very pleased to see is that Minister Massa has taken his responsibility very seriously and his commitment, his team, he himself, to stick to what we have agreed in our program is demonstrably there because we have been able to complete successfully the second review.

We will be very closely following how the economy responds to policy measures. We never take a program to be set in stone if conditions significantly change, but I can tell you that we are not going to be flexible against the interest of the people of Argentina. We would be looking at the reality seen in Argentina, making sure that our program helps, helps to anchor the economy and over time bring the access to market back to life for Argentina.

You are right to flag there are political factors. They exist in all countries. So obviously we will be following very closely how they may be projecting over time and acting accordingly.

Mr. Rice: Thanks, Kristalina. Let us go to Asia. I am going to colleagues online just for a second, Gabriele from CCTV, do you want to come in? And then I will go to India. Gabriele, can you come in?

Question: Yes, of course. Thank you, Gerry, and thank you, Managing Director. Gerry, for the record, I was clapping with Managing Director and everyone else in the room for you. Thank you for all of your help and your work.

Managing Director, my question is on the sustainable transition or the environmental crisis that every country is facing right now. Given all the challenges that you have listed, most of those challenges are more immediate than the environmental challenge. How do you think or how would you advise countries to still focus and invest in a sustainable transition right now? Thank you.

Ms. Georgieva: Very good question. The risk, of course, is there this year, possibly next year, that we would see more reliance on fossil fuels because of the energy crisis that Russia's war in Ukraine has created. But I am convinced that it would be, since we had our Argentine colleague before you, I would use an Argentine analog, it would be a tango, but played the right way, we make one step backwards and then two steps forwards. I am convinced that what is happening today would only accelerate the green transition because energy security is now an added factor in considerations of what directions economies take.

Mr. Rice: Thank you very much, Kristalina. Let us go to India.

Question: Thank you, Gerry. We will all miss you here. Managing Director, I would like to ask you about India, which many of your colleagues in the IMF have described as a bright spot in the current global scenario. Any expectations from India next year when it has the G20 group what India should do next year to lead this group?

Ms. Georgieva: India deserves to be called a bright spot on this otherwise darkening horizon because it has been a fast growing economy even during these difficult times. But most importantly this growth is underpinned by structural reforms, among them the remarkable success in digitalization in India from digital ID to providing all services and support on the basis of digital access. This has been indeed a huge factor for India's success. And the country is now stepping into taking the lead on G20 from that position of strength, which makes me strongly believe that we would see India leaving a mark on the world for years to come during next year's Presidency. And what could that mark be, in what areas? It could be in the area of digitalization, including digital money. We know that we need regulation of crypto. We know that we need to get some more attention to cross border payments and how we are proposing public investment in the infrastructure of a cross border payment platform.

It can be in the area of bringing more fairness in our institutions. Next year we need to complete the Sixteenth General Review of Quotas. India has been a very strong voice for the Fund to be financially strong and also to be a strong institution on the basis of fair representation of our members. It could be in renewable energy. What is not so well known—you know it—that India has really leapfrogged in terms of solar and other forms of renewable energy. So I very much look forward to next year, and I am sure that it would make the people of India, the whole nearly 1.4 billion of them, very proud.

Mr. Rice: Thank you, Kristalina. I want to take a question WebEx from the U.K. Global. We will try to squeeze in just two quick ones, we are running a bit over. If you can make it very short, please. Please come in.

Question: Thank you. I had a question on the global economy. As the Fed and other major central banks continue to push forward, tightening policies in a policy currency policy underway, what is the probability of the global economy falling into recession next year? Thank you.

Mr. Rice: Let us take one more. Eric Martin, Bloomberg.

Question: Thank you very much, Managing Director. I wanted to ask you about the IMF's outstanding credit and lending across the board. From our calculation, it is at a new record this year. I want to ask you about IMF resources. You just made a reference to the quota review. How necessary is it to get that review done? Do you anticipate obstacles? And we are in Washington, a city where everything always happens at the last minute. What expectation do you have, or hope do you have to get it done prior to the December 2023 deadline, in other words, in the course or earlier next year, perhaps. Thank you.

Mr. Rice: Thank you, Eric. Just one more. The question is going to come from AFP here in the front row. AFP, and we can make it short.

Question: I am from the AFP. So G20 representatives are meeting today, and you have previously called for decisive action led by the group as the world faces multiple shocks. So, we wanted to ask, with divisions within the G20 and a lack of consensus on Ukraine, are you worried that tensions could derail some of the progress on issues that were discussed this week, such as inflation and poverty? Thank you.

Mr. Rice: Sorry, Kristalina, this is it.

Ms. Georgieva: The probability of a recession has gone up. We estimate that one third of the world economy equivalent will experience two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth. As I mentioned in my opening, we think that the risk of global recession is now 25 percent, so it is not negligible, but we still have in our hands instruments that can navigate through. It is a narrow path, but the path is there. It is like climbing a mountain. If we hold hands, we follow each other's steps, we actually can get there. We can avoid a global recession.

On the IMF resources, Eric, we still have slightly over $700 billion available to lend. You are absolutely right. Demand for Fund financing has increased. This is very logical. When growth prospects go down, when recession risks go up, we do need to step into our countercyclical role proactively, and I do encourage our members not to hesitate. If you think that you need a buffer, we are here for you. And that particularly applies to the innocent bystander. Countries with strong fundamentals hit by exogenous shocks, we have precautionary lending facilities for you. So we are far from being constrained.

As you also know, we have come up with this innovation of on lending SDRs. We are targeting 100 billion. This is additional, additional to our lending capacity of 1 trillion. Should there be a need, we may appeal to our members to do even more. Now the average is around 20 percent of the SDRs strong economies have received. France set up a good example saying we are going to go to 30 percent. Let's see how the economy shapes up, do we need to do more.

You are right to say that usually these decisions are taken after a great deal of negotiations in the last moment. We have a deadline mid December 2023. There is a possibility that we may see some acceleration. Why? Because of the complicated global economic environment. There may be desire to send a signal that the Fund is there for the members. And since, as I mentioned in an answer to a question about India, since India is the next Chair of the G20, they are very committed to a strong quota based, well resourced IMF. We might see more engagement that comes under their leadership. But ultimately it is the membership, and it is the whole of the membership, not just the G20, all 190 members we need on board.

Mr. Rice: Thank you so much, Kristalina. Thank you for giving us a few extra minutes. Thanks to all of you for your patience. Those of you did not get to ask a question today, please come back tomorrow. We have another press conference. We will try to make sure those who did not get to ask a question today can ask a question tomorrow. See you tomorrow. See you over the next few days. Goodbye.

Ms. Georgieva: Thank you very much.

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