Opening Address by the Governor of the Fund and the Bank for the United States1, Lloyd M. Bentsen

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Published Date:
November 1993
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On behalf of President Clinton and the people of the United States, it is my honor and pleasure to welcome you to Washington for the Forty-Eighth Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. I am looking forward to my opportunity to address you tomorrow because we face a time of profound change in the world’s political and economic landscape. This is a critical time, and our response to change must be a positive one. We have already begun creating the environment in which we can achieve our economic goals.

First and foremost, we must rekindle world growth and reduce unacceptably high unemployment. The name of the game is jobs. It is our primary responsibility. We are moving in the right direction, but there is more we can do. Second, we must continue to work for a more open trading system. Successful completion of the Uruguay Round this year is essential, but regional efforts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and our bilateral efforts to open markets in surplus countries can make an important contribution to expanding world trade. Third, we must encourage emerging economies to maintain the momentum toward growth and lower inflation that many have achieved in recent years. It will be necessary for us to pay special attention to the poorest, most heavily indebted countries. Fourth, we must assist the newly freed countries as they embark on the path of prosperity. Russia is the chief example, but there are new challenges in the Middle East, southern Africa, and Southeast Asia.

These are important goals, and they will by no means be easy to achieve. We will have to have a creative and pragmatic approach, both as individual nations and collectively through these institutions. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have proven their ability as leaders, and we expect nothing less in the future. Your work at these meetings will be important, and quite possibly decisive, in influencing the events which will determine our future.

Delivered at the Opening Joint Session, September 28, 1993.

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