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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Before the iron curtain fell, most firms in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union either were owned by the state or were socially owned. Their behavior was driven by political and social considerations, such as achieving employment targets, rather than by profit-maximizing considerations. Changing the structure of incentives in which enterprises operate is a necessary condition for the successful transition to a market economy. This article, based on a Working Paper by Juan Zalduendo, Senior Economist in the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department, examines the performance of firms in the former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, comparing the performance of firms created following privatization (new firms) with that of firms that predated the transition (surviving or old firms).
The IMF Research Bulletin, a quarterly publication, selectively summarizes research and analytical work done by various departments at the IMF, and also provides a listing of research documents and other research-related activities, including conferences and seminars. The Bulletin is intended to serve as a summary guide to research done at the IMF on various topics, and to provide a better perspective on the analytical underpinnings of the IMF’s operational work.
This paper reviews the progress report on implementation of the National Strategy for Socio-Economic Development (NSSED) during 2004 in Albania. The NSSED established a multiyear plan to combat poverty and strengthen governance. The main implication of the Integrated Planning System for the NSSED is that it will evolve into a comprehensive strategic planning framework. Its focus will accordingly shift toward medium to long-term planning, ensuring that a coherent, costed, mutually consistent sector and cross-cutting strategies are developed that serve as the policy basis for the annual Medium-Term Budget Program process.