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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that 1976 was an important year for the IMF. With the end of 1976, the IMF closed its books on a year of virtually unprecedented activity. It launched the New Year with a US$3.9 billion stand-by arrangement for the United Kingdom, the largest ever made for a member country. The outlook at the beginning of 1977 suggests another busy year ahead for the IMF. The proposed second amendment to the IMF’s Articles of Agreement and the increase in members’ quotas are expected to go into effect before the end of the year.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Over the past 15 years, Chile’s economic reforms and prudent mac-roeconomic policies have delivered strong growth and low inflation. Per capita income has tripled in U.S. dollar terms, and poverty has been cut by two-thirds to 13 percent. Growth has slowed in recent years from its breakneck pace in the mid-1990s but continues on a 5 percent trend.

Peter J. Quirk

Abstract

Continued integration of global financial markets and parallel developments in domestic financial systems were reflected in further liberalization of IMF members’ exchange systems in the early 1990s. The trend toward open financial systems has been particularly pronounced in industrial countries, where foreign exchange market liberalization was virtually completed by 1990. Only a few of the smaller industrial countries continue to maintain any form of control on foreign exchange transactions, other than for prudential purposes. The freeing of exchange controls by individual countries was not accompanied in general by a weakening of their overall balance of payments, although it had been widely believed that this would inevitably result from liberalization in countries with weak external positions.

Peter J. Quirk

Abstract

Currency convertibility has always been an important consideration in economic policymaking, along with monetary and fiscal policies and the exchange rate regime. In the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, particular focus is given to convertibility for trade in goods and services.

Peter J. Quirk

Abstract

The importance of international capital movements has long been recognized. First, international capital movements provide vital support to the multilateral trading system. This support comes not only in the form of short-term trade finance, but also in the transfer of financial resources from countries with current account surpluses to ones with current account deficits. Second, capital movements play a critical role in economic development. The impact in augmenting domestic savings is most obvious when the capital is transferred in the form of foreign direct investment, although by seeking the highest rates of risk-adjusted return, portfolio investment also has potentially significant benefits for economic growth. The impact of capital movements on monetary and exchange policies is also well recognized.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Speaking at the Thirty-Third Washington Conference of the Council of the Americas on April 29, IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler expressed optimism about Latin America’s growth prospects. Despite difficult economic times, he said, the people have indicated no desire to return to past authoritarian regimes, and several countries have recently reaffirmed their commitment to a market-based system. A summary of Köhle’s address, delivered at the U.S. Department of State, follows.
Sara Kane

A $10 billion three-year Stand-By Arrangement for Indonesia was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on November 5 [for complete text of Press Release, see pages 354–56]. The financing provided by the IMF will be supported by substantial funding from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and other lenders; the total amount of the first line of financial assistance to Indonesia, including the use of part of Indonesia’s own external assets, will be on the order of $23 billion. In addition, a number of other economies—including Australia, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States—have indicated that, if necessary, they would consider making available supplemental financing to support Indonesia’s program with the IMF.

Peter J. Quirk

Abstract

The global trend toward lilberalization in countries international payments and transfer systems has been widespread in both industrial and developing countries and most dramatic in Central and Eastern Europe. Countries in general have brought their exchange systems more in line with market principles and moved toward more flexible exchange rate arrangements. This study updates previous studies published under the title Developments in International Exchange and Payments Systems.

Peter J. Quirk

Abstract

In the discussions preceding the formation of the IMF, issues of convertibility and choice of exchange rate regime were closely interwoven (see Section III). A basic objective was to set up a system in which current account convertibility would be consistent with the aims of the fixed exchange rate regimes—convertibility at fixed though adjustable rates—and thus to create a favorable environment for international trade.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Two IMF conferences aimed to promote the exchange of ideas and experience on both sides of the sovereign balance sheet among officials from emerging and mature market countries and private-sector representatives.