IMF Launches Japan-Funded Project to Improve External Sector Statistics in Asia and Pacific Countries

Press Release No.12/394
October 17, 2012

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Japan have launched a three-year project to improve external sector statistics in Asia and Pacific countries. The project, funded by the Japanese government and implemented by the IMF, began this week with an opening workshop for mid- and senior-level central bank officials of the 10 Asian beneficiary countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. A similar event is planned for mid-November, to launch the project for selected Pacific Island beneficiary countries.

“On behalf of the Bank of Thailand, I welcome all these country representatives to Thailand,” Ms. Sibporn Thavornchan, Assistant Governor of the Bank of Thailand, said at the opening ceremony on October 15. “I also wish to express our appreciation of the IMF’s initiative to improve external sector statistics in our region, and for Japan’s generous funding for this important project. This workshop represents an important opportunity for countries in this region to share experiences, enhance regional cooperation and discuss common challenges in the area of external sector data compilation,” Ms. Thavornchan said.

The project aims to address external sector statistics quality issues and close data gaps in key areas including balance of payments, international investment position, services, remittances, external debt, direct investment, and portfolio investment. The IMF’s Statistics Department will oversee the project, which will consist of technical assistance missions and workshops through 2015, primarily conducted by experts who will provide practical hands-on guidance to external sector statistics compilers in the region.

“Improving the quality of statistics across this region is crucial to those organizations and individuals who depend on reliable data for their work,” Mr. Harutaka Murofushi, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Thailand, said at the opening ceremony. “The Japanese Government supports these countries’ efforts towards this end. The reasons it does so through the IMF are threefold: top-ranking knowledge and expertise; effectiveness of policy and institutional advice; and cooperational dialogue that helps countries understand and appreciate the technical assistance provided.”

Mr. Eduardo Valdivia-Velarde, Deputy Chief of the Balance of Payments Division of the IMF’s Statistics Department, thanked the Japanese Government for its important contribution to the project, and the Bank of Thailand for its excellent support in the organization of the event.



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