Abstract

Ladies, gentlemen, and comrades: This has been a very successful colloquium. We who participated in it are most grateful to the Fund and the Chinese speakers for their addresses and for their responses to the many questions they were asked. As anticipated, the colloquium served well the purpose of exchanging views in a cordial and cooperative atmosphere.

Shang Ming

Ladies, gentlemen, and comrades: This has been a very successful colloquium. We who participated in it are most grateful to the Fund and the Chinese speakers for their addresses and for their responses to the many questions they were asked. As anticipated, the colloquium served well the purpose of exchanging views in a cordial and cooperative atmosphere.

I would like to highlight three subjects that appeared to be of special interest to participants: the economic situation of the West and prospects for recovery; growth and inflation in China; and the role of the Fund. Stagflation is now a major problem in the Western economies. Although the rate of inflation has declined somewhat, economic activity remains depressed and inflation is high. It is difficult to predict when recovery will occur and how lasting it will be. The view was expressed by some participants that stagflation is due to contradictions within the capitalist system and will therefore continue to be intractable. Another view is that inflation is becoming more manageable and economic activity may start to recover next year. According to this latter view, the medium-term prospects of the Western economies are quite bright.

The Chinese participants discussed the goal of quadrupling the country’s net material product over the next two decades. They also discussed the issue of inflation in China. Some attributed this latter phenomenon to left-wing policies, others to excessive increases in the money supply. Whatever the origin, it is clear that inflationary pressures in China are quite modest compared with those being experienced by the Western economies.

With respect to Fund-related issues, many participants urged the Fund to give higher priority to the developing countries. Participants also supported the view that the SDR should become the principal reserve asset of the international monetary system. They believed that the uses to which the SDR can be put should be widened and that special attention should be given to increasing the allocations of developing countries.

I am very pleased that the proceedings of the colloquium are to be published, as this will considerably increase its influence.

Wm. C. Hood

Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen: I would like to express our gratitude to all those who have made our stay here both an intellectual experience and a personal delight.

I cannot mention everyone by name, but I would like to refer particularly to Mr. Shang Ming, whose interest made the colloquium possible. Mr. Zhang and Mr. Wang supported the project from its inception. It is impossible to express the depth and warmth of our appreciation to them for their efforts on our behalf. All of us have come to respect their wisdom and admire their efficiency.

It has been a pleasure for us to meet the various members of the presidium of the colloquium and our Chinese colleagues, Mr. Luo and Mr. Hong, who have presented papers at the colloquium. We have been highly impressed by the members of the IMF Division of the People’s Bank of China and by the graduate students from the Bank’s Institute. May I also express our appreciation to the interpreters whose excellent translations have made our communication possible.

The colloquium has been a success. I am pleased that we are now discussing with our Chinese colleagues how to disseminate more widely the ideas that have been presented and discussed by the Fund and the Chinese participants.

During our stay in China, we have sought not only to have intellectual exchanges but also to see something of your people, how they work and live, and to see something of the great cultural tradition that you share.

China has an important contribution to make to the world. It has a long and rich intellectual and cultural history. It has vast resources of manpower and materials. China’s role in the world economy is destined to grow in the decades to come. The Fund looks forward to this development and will always be anxious to play an appropriate part in relation to it.

Azizali Mohammed

Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen: The time has arrived for concluding this colloquium. It has come much too soon, for we were just beginning to exchange the studied politeness of strangers for the give-and-take of debate among friends. But, perhaps, all events that are worthwhile have the same quality of ending sooner than one would wish.

We have been struck by the extensive knowledge of current international affairs on the part of our questioners, as well as by their intelligence and their sense of humor. We have been impressed by the attentiveness and unflagging concentration of this audience. Above all, we have gained valuable insight into your concerns about the world.

The following themes have recurred in the comments made by participants and the questions they have raised in the past few days:

  • —a deep interest in the prospects of the world economy and of China’s growing place in it;

  • —an acute concern with the impact of the international monetary system on the developing countries and with how China as a developing country fits into that system;

  • —a particular interest in the adequacy of the facilities and services of the Fund in relation to the large balance of payments needs and indebtedness problems of its developing member states; and

  • —a critical concern about the equity of present monetary and reserve arrangements between developed and developing countries and the role that the Fund can play in fostering a more equitable system.

We have sought to explain two of the Fund’s major tasks: the larger task of serving as an instrument of intergovernmental cooperation in an ever-changing global economic environment and the more specialized task of promoting adjustment by member states to that environment. We have emphasized the increased activity of the Fund in exchange rate surveillance, which has meant working more closely with its members in clarifying priorities, recommending policies, and facilitating mutual understanding of the implications of each country’s policies—especially those of the major industrial nations—for the interests of the others. In the application of Fund policy to countries adjusting with its support, we have noted the large margins of flexibility in the prescription of appropriate solutions to take account of the circumstances prevailing in member countries and the conditions confronting these countries. In particular, we have noted that the Fund has not yet reached firm conclusions with regard to its approach to the centrally planned economies and that there must be a great deal of additional reflection on the basis of a growing fund of knowledge and insight before settled norms can be established.

Indeed, we regard the colloquium as an integral part of this process of study and reflection, and we are most grateful to our Chinese hosts for giving us the opportunity to exchange views with Chinese scholars and teachers of international finance and with the growing community of students in this field. This is a historic moment in the life of China, as it turns with an open mind to the outside world. We feel privileged to have been a part, in however humble a measure, of this moment.