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International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

I join you, Mr. Chairman, in expressing sincere thanks to the Governor for the United States for his cordial welcome to our deliberations and for his kind personal words to me. I am delighted to hear that the President will be addressing us this afternoon. I wish also to extend a welcome to the Governors for Maldives, Suriname, and the Solomon Islands, which have become members since last we met. In addition, I would like to express my satisfaction with the fact that an Executive Director from Saudi Arabia—a member which has contributed substantially to Fund financing—will shortly join the Executive Board of the Fund.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

Mr. Chairman, Mr. de Larosière, Mr. McNamara, fellow Governors, distinguished guests: President Carter will attend our meeting this afternoon and welcome you to Washington on behalf of the American people. But if I may, I would like to extend to you a personal welcome this morning. It is a pleasure and honor for the United States to host once again these important Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

First of all, on behalf of the Australian Government, I warmly welcome the new members—the Solomon Islands, Suriname, and Maldives. Our congratulations go to Mr. de Larosière on his appointment as Managing Director of the Fund.

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

Mr. Chairman, Managing Director de Larosière, President McNamara, Governors of the Fund and the Bank, and distinguished visitors: On behalf of the American people, I want to welcome you to Washington again for your Thirty-Third Annual Meetings.

Mr. Valerio Crispolti, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Jun I Kim, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, and Mr. George C. Tsibouris

Abstract

Low-income countries routinely experience exogenous disturbances—sharp swings in the terms of trade, export demand, natural disasters, and volatile financial flows—that contribute to higher volatility in aggregate output and consumption compared with other countries. Assessing Reserve Adequacy in Low-Income Countries presents the findings of an analysis of a range of external shocks faced by these countries, beginning with a discussion of the impact of external shocks on macroeconomic growth, volatility, and welfare. Although sound macroeconomic and prudential policy frameworks are the first line of defense for limiting vulnerability, international reserves constitute the main form of self-insurance against such shocks. The evidence suggests that low-income countries with reserve coverage above three months of imports were better able to smooth consumption and absorption in the face of external shocks compared with those with lower reserve holdings. The analysis also points to the importance of country characteristics and vulnerabilities in assessing reserve adequacy.

Toan Quoc Nguyen, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Ms. Rina Bhattacharya

Abstract

The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, launched in 1999 by the IMF and the World Bank, was the first coordinated effort by the international financial community to reduce the foreign debt of the world’s poorest countries. It was based on the theory that economic growth in heavily indebted poor countries was being stifled by heavy debt burdens, making it virtually impossible for these countries to escape poverty. However, most of the empirical research on the effects of debt on growth has lumped together a diverse group of countries, and the literature on the countries’ impact of debt on poor is scant. This pamphlet presents the findings of the authors’ empirical research into the subject, analyzing the channels through which debt affects growth in low-income countries.

Toan Quoc Nguyen, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Ms. Rina Bhattacharya

Abstract

The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, launched in 1999 by the IMF and the World Bank, was the first coordinated effort by the international financial community to reduce the foreign debt of the world’s poorest countries. It was based on the theory that economic growth in heavily indebted poor countries was being stifled by heavy debt burdens, making it virtually impossible for these countries to escape poverty. However, most of the empirical research on the effects of debt on growth has lumped together a diverse group of countries, and the literature on the countries’ impact of debt on poor is scant. This pamphlet presents the findings of the authors’ empirical research into the subject, analyzing the channels through which debt affects growth in low-income countries.