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.
This Annual Progress Report (APR) reviews the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). Noticeable improvements have also occurred in many economic, social, institutional, and legal development areas. While strengthening the management of the public sector and governance, the GoL is increasing public investment to develop physical and social infrastructure and promote human resources. The promotion of the private sector is receiving greater attention through significant improvements in the business climate and trade facilitation. Macroeconomic indicators are also evolving in a satisfactorily manner.
Only a minority of countries have succeeded in establishing a developed financial system, despite widespread financial liberalization. Confronted with this finding, the political institutions view claims that sustained financial deepening is most likely to take place in institutional environments where governments effectively impose constraints on their own powers in order to create trust. This paper identifies over 200 post-1960 episodes of accelerations in financial development in a large cross-section of countries. We find that the likelihood of an acceleration leading to sustained financial development increases greatly in environments that have high-quality political institutions.
Thank you for joining us at these Annual Meetings. I want to express my particular thanks to our Chairman, Zoran Stavreski, and, once again, to Agustín Carstens for his leadership of the Development Committee and his partnership as a friend. I cannot imagine a better Chair to work with during my first year.