International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Fund surveillance needs to evolve to face the economic and financial challenges that will shape the global landscape for years to come. This paper first takes stock of the current economic and financial landscape. To better serve the membership in this context, Fund surveillance should be prioritized around four key priorities: (i) confronting risks and uncertainties: policymakers will need to actively manage the risks of a highly uncertain outlook; (ii) preempting and mitigating adverse spillovers: shifting patterns of global economic integration will bring about new channels for contagion and policy spillovers; (iii) fostering economic sustainability: a broader understanding of sustainability to better account for the impact of economic and non-economic developments on stability; and (iv) unified policy advice: better accounting for the trade-offs and synergies among different policy combinations in the face of limited policy space and overlapping priorities, tailored to country-specific circumstances. These priorities should further enhance the traction of Fund surveillance.
In its April 2009 Communiqué, the IMFC called for a prompt start to the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas so that it is completed by January 2011--some two years ahead of schedule. The IMFC noted that the review is expected to result in increases in the quota shares of dynamic economies, particularly in the share of emerging market and developing countries as a whole. The IMFC also looked forward to further work by the Executive Board on elements of the new quota formula that can be improved before the formula is used again, and noted that this work should start before the 2009 Annual Meetings.
1. At the Executive Board discussion of quota and voice reform in July, which built upon two earlier informal seminars, Directors highlighted the need to make significant further progress in the coming months.2 This would enable the Executive Board to report concrete and substantial progress to the Board of Governors at the Annual Meetings. It was envisaged that the period leading up to the Annual Meetings would be used to begin to resolve the remaining areas of difference and focus on the main choices that need to be made. In that vein, staff and management were to consider how the views expressed and guidance provided by Directors so far could be built upon to identify more concretely the scope for specific proposals.
There is now widespread recognition that addressing quota and voice imbalances across the membership is essential for preserving the effectiveness of the Fund and its credibility as a cooperative institution. As noted in the Managing Director’s Report on Implementing the Medium-Term Strategy,2 members’ quotas have become increasingly out of line with countries’ economic weight in the global economy. In addition, the declining role of basic votes since the Fund was established has weakened the voice of smaller developing countries.
On July 5, the Executive Board had an informal discussion of reforms of quotas and voice as part of the process of formulating reform proposals for the Annual Meetings in Singapore. That discussion confirmed the importance attached by the membership to reaching agreement on a package of quota and voice reforms in Singapore for the Fund’s continued credibility and effectiveness. The discussion also revealed broad support for a reform package along the lines suggested in the staff paper. The support for quota and voice reform across a broad spectrum of the membership indicates that these reforms are not seen as a zero sum game, but rather as change that will strengthen the Fund and from which all members will benefit.