Chapter

Appendix III Press communiqués and Announcements of the Interim Committee and the Development Committee

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
September 1977
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Interim Committee of the Board of Governors on the International Monetary System

Press communiqué, Sixth Meeting, Manila, October 2, 1976

1. The Interim Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund held its sixth meeting in Manila, the Philippines, on October 2, 1976 under the chairmanship of Mr. Willy De Clercq, Minister of Finance of Belgium. Mr. H. Johannes Witteveen, Managing Director of the Fund, participated in the meeting. The following observers attended during the Committee’s discussions: G. D. Arsenis, Director, New York Office, UNCTAD; Henri Konan Bedie, Chairman, Development Committee; Wilhelm Haferkamp, Vice-President in Charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, CEC; Rene Larre, General Manager, BIS; E. van Lennep, Secretary-General, OECD; F. Leutwiler, President, National Bank of Switzerland; Olivier Long, Director-General, GATT; and Robert S. McNamara, President, IBRD.

2. The Committee discussed the world economic outlook and the functioning of the international adjustment process.

The Committee welcomed the economic recovery that has been under way for the last year; it expressed continued concern, however, about persistently high levels of unemployment and high rates of inflation in many countries. The Committee believes that in present circumstances the restoration of a reasonable degree of price stability will be necessary to establish the basis for sustained economic growth and the reduction of unemployment. Accordingly, the Committee is of the view that policies in the industrial countries at the present time should give priority to the reduction of price and cost inflation. This would require fiscal and monetary policies in these countries that would provide effective control over the expansion of aggregate demand in a manner compatible with this objective, even where price and incomes policies are in effect.

The Committee further agreed that, given the constraint under which demand management policies in the industrial countries must operate, special efforts, including the reduction in the barriers to trade in the negotiations now under way, to improve market access to the exports of developing countries and to increase the flow of development assistance would be indicated.

With respect to the international adjustment process, the Committee reached the following conclusions:

(a) As a result of the recovery in the world economy, exports are rising in many countries and the international environment has become much more favorable for the adjustment of external payments positions. The Committee believes that such adjustment, which should be symmetrical as between deficit and surplus countries, is now both urgent and opportune.

(b) To this end, deficit countries should arrange their domestic policies so as to restrain domestic demand and to permit the shift of resources to the external sector, to the extent necessary to bring the deficit on current account in line with a sustainable flow of capital imports and aid.

(c) Industrial countries in strong payments positions should ensure continued adequate expansion in domestic demand, within the limits set by effective anti-inflationary policies.

(d) Exchange rates should be allowed to play their proper role in the adjustment process.

(e) In the context of the use of the Fund’s resources, adjustment by deficit countries can be promoted by a larger use of the credit tranches and the extended Fund facility.

3. The Committee noted that, in accordance with the agreement incorporated in the provisions of the Proposed Second Amendment, the Fund will have the obligation to exercise firm surveillance over the exchange rate policies of members. The Executive Directors should consider how this function is to be exercised and should report to the Committee on this subject.

4. The Committee noted the section of the Annual Report of the Executive Directors dealing with developments in international liquidity. In accordance with its terms of reference the Committee requested the Executive Directors to keep ail aspects of international liquidity under review and to report to it at a later meeting.

5. The Committee reviewed, on the basis of a report by the Executive Directors, the financial activities of the Fund, including developments in the Fund’s policies on the use of its resources and in the liquidity of the Fund. The Committee noted the unprecedented expansion in the use of the Fund’s resources by members in order to finance their balance of payments deficits and agreed that, even if all reasonable efforts toward adjustment were made, there might still be a need for a large use of the Fund’s resources in the near future. The Committee shared the view of the Executive Directors that greater emphasis should be placed on the adjustment by members of imbalances in their payments positions and that the use of the Fund’s resources should present the Fund with the opportunity to promote the use by members of the kind of adjustment measures that are most conducive to the interest of all. The Committee noted the actions taken by the Executive Directors with regard to the Trust Fund and welcomed their intention to keep the compensatory financing and buffer stock facilities under review.

6. The Committee endorsed the conclusions of the Executive Directors on the state of the Fund’s liquidity. The Committee urged that, pursuant to the Resolution on Quota Increases adopted by the Board of Governors last March, all members that have not yet done so should make the necessary arrangements for the use of their currencies in the operations and transactions of the Fund in accordance with its policies. It was agreed that the Fund’s liquidity should be kept under close review. The Committee stressed the fact that prompt adoption of the Proposed Second Amendment of the Articles and the subsequent completion of the steps necessary for quota increases under the Sixth General Review would provide the most effective way of improving the liquidity of the Fund.

7. The Committee noted that the Executive Directors will initiate in the near future the Seventh General Review of Quotas so that it can be concluded, as planned, in February 1978.

8. The Committee noted the report of the Executive Directors regarding the progress made by members in connection with their acceptance of the Proposed Second Amendment of the Fund’s Articles. In view of the importance that the entry into force of the amended Articles will have for the functioning of the international monetary system, the Committee urged all members that had not yet notified the Fund of their acceptance of the Second Amendment to complete as soon as possible the arrangements that would permit them to take this action.

9. The Committee agreed to hold its eighth meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 18 and 19, 1977.

Announcement, Seventh Meeting, Manila, October 6, 1976

The Interim Committee at its seventh meeting today in Manila selected Mr. Willy De Clercq, Minister of Finance of Belgium, to continue as its Chairman for a new term, following upon the election of Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund which took place on October 5, 1976.

The Committee also decided that its eighth meeting previously announced for April 18 and 19, 1977 is now to be held on April 28 and 29, 1977 in Washington, D.C.

Press communiqué, Eighth Meeting, Washington, April 29, 1977

1. The Interim Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund held its eighth meeting in Washington, D.C, on April 28–29, 1977 under the chairmanship of Mr. Willy De Clercq, Minister of Finance of Belgium. Mr. H. Johannes Witteveen, Managing Director of the Fund, participated in the meeting. The following observers attended during the Committee’s discussions: Mr. G. D. Arsenis, Director, New York Office, UNCTAD; Mr. Mahjoob A. Hassanain, Chief, Economics Department, OPEC; Mr. Pierre Languetin, General Manager, National Bank of Switzerland; Mr. Rene Larre, General Manager, BIS; Mr. Emile van Lennep, Secretary-General, OECD; Mr. Olivier Long, Director-General, GATT; Mr. Robert S. McNamara, President, IBRD; Mr. Fran-gois-Xavier Ortoli, Vice-President, CEC; and Mr. Cesar E. A. Virata, Chairman, Development Committee.

2. The Committee discussed the world economic outlook and the functioning of the international adjustment process.

The Committee noted the expansion of activity that has taken place in the world economy over the past year and welcomed the improvement in economic outlook during recent months following cessation of the “pause” in the industrial countries. The Committee expressed concern, however, about the persistence of high levels of unemployment, especially among young people, and high levels of inflation in many countries.

I. On the broad question of the economic policy options and priorities of member countries, the Committee agreed on the following conclusions:

(a) Policies of demand management in most countries must emphasize the need to deal with problems of inflation and the balance of payments. These policies are being guided by the conviction that measures to combat inflation and, where necessary, to strengthen the external position are not only necessary in present circumstances but also will make for a better record over time in terms of economic growth and employment.

(b) At the same time, special efforts should be made to improve market access for the exports of the developing countries and to increase the flow of official development assistance. Any tendencies toward protectionist trade policies cannot be considered acceptable from an international point of view and should be strongly resisted; indeed, increased attention should be paid to the need to reduce the existing restrictions on trade. Success in the current negotiations in Geneva would make an important contribution to this end.

II. The Committee drew the following conclusions from its review of the international adjustment process:

(a) The needs for adjustment remain large and, as experience shows, delays in dealing with them can be very costly. It will take international cooperation, and determined action by surplus as well as deficit countries, to make continuing progress with respect to adjustment. An encouraging development is that a number of countries, both large and small, developed and developing, have adopted programs to strengthen their external positions, often in the context of stand-by arrangements approved by the Fund.

(b) Strategies of adjustment must include emphasis on conservation of energy, on elimination of domestic sources of inflation, particularly in the deficit countries, and on improvement in cost-price relationships among countries. It is important that industrial countries in relatively strong payments positions should ensure continued adequate expansion of domestic demand, within prudent limits. More-over, these countries, as well as other countries in strong payments positions, should promote increased flows of long-term capital exports.

(c) Given the persistence of large payments imbalances, important demands for the Fund’s resources can be expected to materialize. The Committee found good grounds for believing that expansion of the Fund’s role as a financial intermediary could contribute significantly to promotion of international adjustment and to maintenance of confidence in the continued expansion of the world economy and in the effective functioning of the international financial system.

3. The Committee reviewed the developments in international liquidity and in the financial activities and resources of the Fund. In this connection, it had the benefit of a report of the Managing Director summarizing the discussions that the Executive Directors have had to date on these subjects. As a result of this review, the Committee reached the following conclusions:

The Committee recognized that there was an urgent need for a supplementary arrangement of a temporary nature that would enable the Fund to expand its financial assistance to those of its members that in the next several years will face payments imbalances that are large in relation to their economies.

The Committee agreed that some of the main features of this supplementary arrangement would be as follows:

  • (i) The Fund would establish substantial lines of credit in order to be able to assist members to meet their needs for supplementary assistance.

  • (ii) Access to assistance under the supplementary arrangement should be available to all members and should be subject to adequate conditionality, and such assistance should normally be provided on the basis of a stand-by arrangement covering a period longer than one year.

  • (iii) The Fund should pay interest on amounts borrowed under the lines of credit at market-related interest rates, and charges by the Fund for the use by members of resources borrowed by it under these lines of credit should be based on these rates. The possibility of a subsidy related to the rates of charge that would be payable by low-income countries should be explored.

  • (iv) The claims of lenders under the supplementary arrangement should be appropriately liquid.

The Committee welcomed the willingness of a number of countries in a position to lend to the Fund to collaborate with it on arrangements for supplementary credit and urged the Managing Director to complete, as soon as possible, his discussions with potential lenders on terms and conditions and amounts. It further requested the Executive Directors to take the necessary steps for making such an arrangement operative as soon as possible.

4. The Committee considered the main issues relating to the Seventh General Review of Quotas. It was agreed that, in view of the expansion of members’ international transactions and the need for the Fund to be able to give balance of payments assistance to members on a larger scale than would be available on the basis of quotas under the Sixth General Review, there should be an adequate increase in the total of quotas pursuant to the Seventh General Review. On the question of distribution of quotas, one view was that in order to conclude the Seventh Review at an early date, increases should be equiproportional to the quotas that will result from the Sixth General Review. Another view, however, was that a few special adjustments should be made for those members whose quotas are seriously out of line with their relative positions in the world economy, and in this connection some emphasis should be placed on increases that would strengthen the Fund’s liquidity. The Committee urged the Executive Directors to pursue their work and to prepare a report, together with draft recommendations to the Board of Governors, on increases in the quotas of members under the Seventh General Review for consideration by the Committee at its next meeting.

5. The Committee also considered the question whether a further allocation of SDRs would be advisable at the present time. The Committee noted that the Executive Directors have been discussing this question and agreed to request them to give further consideration to all aspects of this matter and to report to the Committee at its first meeting in 1978.

The Committee also agreed to request the Executive Directors to review the characteristics and uses of the SDR so as to promote the purposes of the Fund, including the objective of making the SDR the principal reserve asset in the international monetary system.

6. Although the Committee discussed the proposals for supplementary credit, the Seventh Quota Review and any allocation of SDRs separately as indicated above, members of the Committee attached importance to the interrelationships among them and particularly to the overall effect of the decisions as a whole.

7. The Committee noted with satisfaction the work of the Executive Directors on the implementation of Article IV of the Proposed Amendment of the Articles of Agreement, and welcomed the consensus reached by them on the principles and procedures for the guidance of members and for the exercise of surveillance by the Fund over the exchange rate policies of members in the period after the Second Amendment has become effective. The Committee endorsed these principles and procedures, and agreed that they will make an important contribution to the effective functioning of the international monetary system in the future.

8. The Committee noted that so far no more than twenty-four members of the Fund having about 32 per cent of the total voting power have notified the Fund of their acceptances of the Proposed Second Amendment of the Fund’s Articles and that very few members have given their formal consents to increases in their quotas under the Sixth General Review of Quotas. The Committee expressed its concern at this delay and urged all members that have not yet accepted the Proposed Second Amendment to complete as soon as possible the arrangements that would enable them to take this action and to increase their quotas under the Sixth General Review.

9. The Committee agreed to hold its ninth meeting in Washington on September 24, 1977.

Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries (Development Committee)

Press communiqué, Sixth Meeting, Manila, October 3, 1976

1. The Development Committee (the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries) held its sixth meeting in Manila on October 3, 1976, under the chairmanship of Mr. Henri Konan Bedie, Minister of Economy and Finance for the Ivory Coast. Mr. Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank, Mr. H. Johannes Witteveen, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and Mr. M. M. Ahmad, Acting Executive Secretary, took part in the meeting which was also attended by representatives from a number of international and regional organizations and Switzerland as observers.

2. The Committee approved for presentation to the Boards of Governors of the Fund and the World Bank its second annual report covering the period July 1975 to June 1976.

3. The Committee considered the program of its future work in the light of the situation and prospects of developing countries. The analyses presented to it by the staffs of the IMF and the World Bank showed that the current account deficit of non-oil developing countries had declined somewhat but was still expected to be running at a high annual rate of about US$32–33 billion in 1976 and the first half of 1977. These estimates did not suggest that a significant relief from current difficulties would be forthcoming in the early part of 1977. Many developing countries, especially the middle-income countries, borrowed heavily to maintain the flow of imports and to avoid undue interruption of their development programs, leading to an increase in their external debt and debt service payments. The low-income countries have had little or no growth in per capita income since 1970 and their level of imports fell by some 20 per cent below those of the late 1960s. Official aid to them has been inadequate. To assist the developing countries in their adjustment process and to help them achieve a higher rate of growth, the low-income countries would require additional concessional assistance and the middle-income countries would need increased flows from both official and private sources. To be effective, these in turn would require a greater emphasis upon domestic policies attuned toward the necessary internal adjustment processes and toward employment creation.

4. The Committee reaffirmed its strong support for the timely and satisfactory completion of the Fifth Replenishment of IDA so as to permit a substantial increase in IDA resources which, in the opinion of many members, should be in real terms, and to maintain continuity of its operations beyond June 1977. The Committee also agreed that it was important that the lending programs of the international lending institutions remain adequate to help meet the capital requirements of the developing countries. They asked the Boards of these institutions to review the adequacy of their capital resources for this purpose and, where such capital is inadequate, to review the issues prerequisite to consideration of augmenting such capital.

5. The Committee, with due regard to the functions of the Boards of the IMF, the World Bank, and other international institutions, desired to focus attention on the resources situation of the international development finance institutions, on the volume, terms and distribution of official flows, and on the role of adjustment in the development process. The Committee agreed to establish a Working Group which would, initially, consider the study of the International Resources Bank requested of the World Bank. In addition, the group could be assigned other specific matters, including the volume, terms and distribution of official flows. The Working Group will present its conclusions and recommendations for the consideration of the Committee.

6. The Committee received a further interim report from the Working Group on Access to Capital Markets. It was agreed that capital market countries would endeavor, as far as their balance of payments situation permitted, to move progressively toward greater liberalization of capital movements, in particular capital outflows. In the meanwhile, when regulations governing capital outflows are maintained for unavoidable reasons,

  • — governments of capital market countries would afford favorable treatment, as among foreign borrowers, to developing country borrowers with regard to permissions to make an issue or place in the issue calendar;

  • — those capital market countries which currently maintain quantitative limits on the amount of foreign issues in their markets would endeavor to keep developing country borrowers outside these limits, at least up to specified amounts;

  • — since the Eurobond market presents potential opportunities for developing countries to raise finance, countries whose currencies are in strong demand, and which maintain restrictions on international issues denominated in their currencies, would endeavor to give favorable treatment, as among foreign borrowers, to developing country borrowers.

The Committee noted a number of recommendations in the report that consideration be given to the removal of legal and administrative barriers so far as is consistent with investors’ protection and urged capital market countries to give them earnest consideration.

7. The Committee recognized the need to reinforce and expand technical assistance activities in the field of access to capital markets, noted the bilateral programs already in the field, recognized the need to coordinate the implementation of present and future available services, and recommended that attention be given by the Board of IFC to the possibility of IFC expanding its activities.

8. The Committee stressed the importance of co-financing by international and regional development banks as a means of augmenting private capital flows to some developing countries, noted the progress being made in this regard and urged that these arrangements be further expanded.

9. The Committee noted with satisfaction that the Working Group had considered the subject of multilateral guarantees and the proposal for an international investment trust and asked that it continue its studies on these subjects. The Committee also agreed that the Working Group should present to the Committee at its next meeting concrete recommendations for improving the various reporting systems on international financial stocks and flows.

10. The Committee agreed to meet again on October 6 in Manila and also tentatively to meet on April 17, 1977, in Washington, D.C., the time of the next meeting of the Interim Committee.

11. The Committee expressed its deep appreciation to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for its warm hospitality and for the excellent facilities provided to the Committee for the conduct of its meetings.

Announcement, Seventh Meeting, Manila, October 6, 1976

At its seventh meeting in Manila on October 6, 1976, the Development Committee selected the Honorable Cesar E.A. Virata, Secretary of Finance of the Philippines, as Chairman and appointed Sir Richard King, K.C.B., M.C., of the United Kingdom, as Executive Secretary. Sir Richard is currently Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Overseas Development.

At its eighth meeting in Washington, the Development Committee decided not to issue a Press communiqué. It decided that the ninth meeting would take place in Washington on September 25, 1977.

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