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UNGKU A. AZIZ

Abstract

A seminar to discuss structural adjustment in a region that is at times seen as becoming a pivotal part of the global economy in the twenty-first century is likely to be quite exciting. The task of being a moderator for such a seminar is a privilege and deserves some reflection. Indeed, the structured functions of the moderator need to be adjusted through at least five phases of the seminar.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The global economy entered 2013 with receding tail risks as the U.S. fiscal cliff and an escalation of the euro area crisis had been averted. In the United States, activity, balance sheets, house prices, and credit were improving while major emerging economies were also seeing strengthening activity. In the euro area, however, economic prospects remain fragile, with weak activity extending to core countries. Meanwhile, financial conditions are ameliorating across the board, with equity prices rising to multiyear highs, volatilities declining, and credit spreads compressing (Figure 1.1). While downside risks remain significant, risks are now more balanced than they were at the time of the October 2012 Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook Update (IMF, 2012d).

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

Sustained rapid growth, macroeconomic stability, and improvements in living standards are some of the remarkable achievements of Asian economies over the past decade. Nevertheless, important challenges remain, as countries strive to maintain robust long-term growth, reduce income inequality, and fight poverty. Against this background, this chapter assesses whether fiscal policy has contributed to lower output volatility in Asia in the last decade and discusses how it can help address the critical challenges ahead.

LIN SEE YAN

Abstract

I am very pleased to be here this morning to officiate the opening of the International Monetary Fund Seminar Program for Non-Officials. As co-host, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of Bank Negara Malaysia, to extend a warm welcome to all participants and observers, particularly those of you who are visiting Malaysia for the first time. I note from the program that you have a heavy agenda before you. Nevertheless, I do hope you will take some time off to see what you can of our country and to enjoy our Malaysian hospitality.

BERNARDO M. VILLEGAS

Abstract

The debt crisis that emerged in the early 1980s forced many countries to reconsider their development strategies. Many had embraced international borrowing as a way to boost investment levels, despite low rates of domestic savings. Some countries and regions in Asia, such as Korea and Taiwan Province of China, were extremely successful. Korea, in particular, raised huge amounts of international capital, which it invested in efficient operations and used to spur the growth of export-oriented industries. Latin American countries were far less successful. They succeeded in building large domestic industries but were unable to manage their debts. As a result, their indebtedness brought them exchange depreciation, inflation, and stagnation.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

Slower growth in China, India, and Vietnam; prospects of persistently low growth in advanced economies; imminent demographic aging across large parts of East Asia—all have raised concerns in recent years about risks of a sustained growth slowdown in emerging Asia. In middle-income economies, fears of a “middle-income trap” have been growing.1 And indeed, as highlighted in Chapter 1, although Asia’s potential growth remains higher than that of other regions, various estimation techniques point to a reduction in trend growth since the 2008 global financial crisis.

RICHARD HEMMING and KALPANA KOCHHAR

Abstract

In the context of Fund-supported adjustment programs, there is now much discussion of growth-oriented adjustment. This involves the integration of traditional short-term adjustment—essentially the correction of external and internal imbalances through aggregate demand management—with longer-term structural measures aimed at stimulating the supply side of the economy. The Fund has been criticized for not paying enough attention to growth; the most common claim is that the fiscal and monetary policy prescriptions that characterize short-term adjustment programs are inimical to growth, and that this reflects inadequate concern. A similar line of reasoning is used by those who argue that the Fund has lacked concern about the social implications of adjustment, and in particular its impact on poverty and inequality.

SUHADI MANGKUSUWONDO

Abstract

The decade of the 1970s will be remembered as one of economic turbulence. It caused profound changes in the structure of world trade, the consequences of which were felt by all countries until the end of the 1980s. Starting with the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, followed by sharp rises in the prices of oil and most other commodities, inflationary pressures were building toward the end of the 1970s. Economic growth generally slowed down from the high rates of the 1960s.

PETER QUIRK

Abstract

Over the past two decades rising economic performance in the developing countries of East Asia has propelled the region into growing prominence and has raised important questions regarding the role of economic policies in that performance. Annual growth rates since 1965 have averaged over 7 percent. Exports have surged, more than doubling their share of output. The extent of such generalized vitality is unequaled by other regions. Given the resource, cultural, and other diversities of the various countries, evidence regarding a model for structural adjustment may be derived from differences in economic performance and policies.