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Ved P. Gandhi

Abstract

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?

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Following a long uninterrupted period of strong global expansion, world economic growth has begun to moderate in response to the continuing financial market turbulence that started in August 2007. Although downside risks have increased, global growth prospects remain broadly positive, with world GDP growth in 2008 slowing to a projected 3.7 percent, from 4.9 percent in 2007. What makes this period of economic expansion different from previous periods is the broad-based character of the growth momentum: emerging market economies and other developing countries have rapidly increased their shares in global production and trade.1 The resulting convergence of income levels between advanced and developing economies helps in the fight against poverty, because poverty reduction will be elusive without strong, private sector-based economic growth. The increasing significance of developing countries as attractive places to invest, the international migration of labor, and the emergence of new donors have also changed the composition of international financial flows: private capital and workers’ remittances have grown in importance as main sources of financing in many developing countries. The benefits of the global expansion, however, have not reached all developing countries, especially the many fragile states where per capita growth rates remain negative. Also, income inequality has risen within many countries, mainly as a result of the effects of technological progress on relative wages of unskilled workers, confirming the importance of improving access by low-income workers to high-quality education.

Stanley Fischer

Abstract

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.

David Pearce, Cielito Habito, Andrew Steer, and Ved P. Gandhi

Abstract

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.

Vito Tanzi

Abstract

Let me conclude the seminar with two observations that are highly relevant to our discussions of the past two days and then with a few remarks on the future direction of Fund work in the environment area.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The world has made steady progress toward meeting the numerical targets for the human development Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Achievements have been impressive in some cases, and even in countries that are lagging, progress is measurable. The glass is, at the very least, half full. Nonetheless, significant challenges still exist as the global community approaches the halfway point of the MDG goals, and some countries and regions are seriously off track for successfully meeting the goals. This chapter provides an overview of the key issues and trends that underpin the human development indicators of the MDGs, with an explicit focus on inequity in spending and access, health care quality, and child malnutrition. The chapter also documents environmental problems that pose barriers to the achievement of the human development MDGs.

Margaret Kelly

Abstract

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the IMF Seminar on Macroeconomics and the Environment. Most of you are from Washington, but some guests have come from as far away as Canada, England, India, Norway, and the Philippines. As we received your responses to the invitations, we also received a number of expressions of curiosity—even surprise—that the IMF would be holding an academic seminar on environmental issues. To some extent the curiosity is understandable. We are a monetary institution, not an environmental one. Our basic mandate, as spelled out in Article I of the IMF Articles of Agreement, is to promote international monetary cooperation and exchange rate stability and to help member countries solve their balance of payments problems. Moreover, the timeframe for our work—whether surveillance or programs—is typically short term, while environmental problems, unlike exchange-rate and balance of payments crises, tend to be long term.

Ved P. Gandhi and Ronald T. McMorran

Abstract

The International Monetary Fund is a monetary institution charged with the responsibility of promoting international financial and exchange stability through the adoption of sound macroeconomic policies in its member countries (see Annex 1, and IMF, 1993). It is not an environmental institution and is not concerned with the environment per se. Fund work on the environment is therefore related to its primary mandate of helping member countries achieve economic stability through reform of macroeconomic policies.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The global aid landscape is undergoing profound changes in the way aid is financed and delivered. The new aid architecture is marked by the emergence of global funds and nontraditional bilateral donors; a growing role in aid of private foundations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and corporations; and more public-private partnerships. Changes to the aid architecture are expanding the availability of resources for poor countries and spurring new and innovative ways of addressing pressing development needs. But they also pose new challenges for aid effectiveness.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

World trade has been expanding rapidly, and trends in trade policy have continued to be in the direction of fewer barriers to trade.1 Progress in the multilateral trade negotiations has proved to be elusive, however, reflecting in large part the inability of World Trade Organization (WTO) members to agree on agricultural trade liberalization. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries continue to impose highly distorting agricultural support policies to the detriment of their consumers and producers in developing countries. Developing countries have higher average levels of trade restrictiveness, but the policy of taxing agriculture in many developing countries has become much less prevalent.