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.
Let me welcome all of you to the Czech Republic and to Prague. My welcome extends to the official participants in the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, to all business people, bankers, economists, political scientists, environmentalists, thinkers, journalists, and, indeed, to all people of good will who have come here because this is an occasion to discuss and possibly also to help determine our common future. This country and its capital city are greatly honored to be the venue of this major assembly, which brings together thousands of people from all countries and continents—including persons wielding a far-reaching influence—in the very year that the commonly used chronology views as a turn of ages. For us it means an honor, a joy, as well as a great challenge, and a major commitment. I trust that Prague—hosting such a gathering of a truly global significance for the first time in more than a thousand years of its history—will offer a good environment for the deliberations and will be reflected favorably both in the memory of its participants and in the history of global cooperation. Surely this city possesses certain historical prerequisites. Over the course of centuries—among other things because of its geographical position in the center of Europe—it has witnessed not only confrontations and conflicts but also creative encounters, mutual respect, reciprocal influence, and cooperation among various cultures; various peoples and ethnic groups; and various spiritual currents and social movements. This pluralism has helped to shape its visage. It would be good if, after decades of oppression, of life without freedom, of bent backs, and of imposed isolation, we succeeded in rediscovering this ancient tradition and offered this city as a congenial setting for the world’s open debate about itself.
Meetings of the Joint Development Committee were held jointly with the Board of Governors of the Bank. The sessions of the Annual Meetings were held jointly with the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group.
This study examines the challenges and issues facing policymakers in highly dollarized economies. Focusing on Cambodia, which achieved almost complete dollarization during 1991-95, the authors review recent developments in the literature on dollarization and examine the costs and benefits of dollarization in Cambodia, including the ensuing macroeconomic policy implications. They carry out an econometric estimation of cash foreign currency circulation in Cambodia in order to gauge the degree of dollarization. In addition to this analysis, the authors present a short description of Cambodia’s economic, financial, and structural background.
For over 10 years, the IMF has supported adjustment and reform programs in many of its low-income members through two facilities established specifically for that purpose - the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and its precursor the Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF). By the end of 1994, 36 countries had availed themselves of these facilities, in support of 68 multi-year programs. This study summarizes the findings of a review of the experience under these programs and of economic developments in the countries that undertook them.
DESIGNING and implementing fiscal policy in transition economies is a major challenge. A balance must be struck between sometimes conflicting goals. In the process of fundamental institutional change, economies in transition face both severe economic and social dislocations, and widening macroeconomic imbalances. Because of the central role of the state in these economies, fiscal policy is key in the double effort to stabilize the economy and to move toward a market-based system.