Presenting remarks at the recent 55th Plenary Meeting of the Group of Thirty in Mexico City, Agustín Carstens, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, took the opportunity to highlight key points of the IMF’s medium term strategy. He pointed out that twenty-first century globalization presents the world community with new challenges. Consequently, the IMF has an important role to play in fostering international cooperation and helping individual countries meet these challenges.
Mr. Carstens noted that the Fund emerged from its recent Spring Meetings *”with a strong and renewed mandate to address the world’s financial imbalances and to help our membership adapt to the new realities being shaped by globalization”.*
With the objective of making the IMF “more fit for purpose” in this 21st century global economy, several key decisions have been taken, among these, that of enhancing surveillance.
Deputy Managing Director Carstens said the difficulties in tackling unprecedented global imbalances and the challenges facing individual countries underscore the need for stronger exercise of the Fund’s policy analysis and advice to its member countries – i.e. surveillance.
A major element of the new framework is a new focus on multilateral issues, including global financial issues, and especially the spillovers from one economy on others. In this new approach, the Fund will engage in multilateral consultations to take up issues comprehensively and collectively with several members at once and where relevant, with entities formed by groups of members.
Also under the new framework, member countries and their institutions will strengthen the commitments that they make to each other under the Fund’s Article IV, on which surveillance can focus on monetary, financial, fiscal and exchange rate policies. The IMF also aims to promote greater awareness of regional contexts and cross-country experiences; to elevate the coverage of financial sector issues in Article IV reports; and to focus surveillance better by streamlining Article IV reports in alternate years for selected countries.
As a whole, said Mr. Carstens, the IMF’s focus on surveillance will be sharper and the outreach enhanced.
The Group of Thirty is a private, nonprofit, international body composed of senior representatives of the private and public sectors and academia.