Two themes dominated the discussions at the seminar. How do macroeconomic policies and the environment interact? How important is it that the Fund staff become aware of this interaction and take it into account in dealing with member countries?
To a remarkable extent, the work of the IMF is still guided by its original mandate, as spelled out in the Articles of Agreement. In 1944, the founding fathers charged the IMF with, among other things, facilitating “the expansion and balanced growth of international trade and to contribute thereby … to the development of productive resources” and helping member countries with temporary balance of payments problems so that they do not have to adjust by “resorting to measures destructive of national or international prosperity.” These goals are pursued primarily through balance of payments assistance and what has come to be called surveillance.
Vito Tanzi: This panel discussion is the most informal part of the seminar. Certain questions were given to individual speakers, in the hope that they would spend a few minutes and give answers. The four speakers are David Pearce, Cielito Habito, Andrew Steer, and Ved Gandhi, and we will go in that order.