Opening Address by the Governor of the Fund and the Bank for the United States1, Nicholas F. Brady

International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Published Date:
November 1992
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Chairman Berrada, Managing Director Camdessus, President Preston, fellow Governors, and distinguished guests, on behalf of the President of the United States, it is my honor to welcome you to Washington for the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

We stand on the threshold of a new era that all of us have been seeking for more than forty years. We must not let the problems of the moment blind us to the opportunities now before us. Our challenge is to overcome the problems and begin building a brighter future for the generations to follow.

During the past four years in which I have served with you as a Governor of the IMF and the World Bank, we have witnessed profound changes in the world in which we live. The cold war is over. The nations of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have set themselves free. Developing countries are undertaking bold free-market reforms. The debt crisis is largely over for the major debtors and the banking system.

The competition between state control and market economies has been decisively won by those who put their faith in the individual and the market, and their people have benefited. Working together in a spirit of cooperation and partnership, we have created a foundation for peace and prosperity in our time.

The IMF and the World Bank have served us particularly well in helping to establish this foundation. However, to fulfill the promise of the future, we must build upon our successes of yesterday and today. First and foremost, we must build a stronger world economy, one solidly committed to global growth. When growth occurs, the world’s money is attracted to projects that produce jobs, thereby reducing poverty and creating a higher standard of living for us all. On the other hand, when interest rates remain high, for whatever reason, the returns on investment stay sterile in the banking system.

Second, the essence of growth is trade, and its badge is competition. Nothing in the events of the last few days should deter our joint efforts to complete the Uruguay Round. It is far better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. We must complete the Uruguay Round.

Third, we must strengthen our arrangements to coordinate economic policies to provide a rejuvenated and stable international monetary system that can deal with the historic changes taking place, as well as differing national economic priorities.

We have reason for optimism. The events of the past four years show us what we can accomplish when we apply our collective energies. The challenges ahead of us pale in comparison with the difficulties that have already been overcome. And the IMF and the World Bank have proven since the days of Bretton Woods that they have the fiber to lead us forward.

Today begins the start of a new effort to build a better world. A year from now, let the world look back and say that we made a good beginning. I wish to convey the good wishes of the American people as you undertake this historic task.

Delivered at the Opening Joint Session, September 22, 1992.

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