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Opening Remarks by Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang at the Financing for Development Forum

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Via IMF (Den Internationale Valutafond)

Opening Remarks by Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang at the Financing for Development Forum

April 15, 2019

Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning—thank you for inviting the International Monetary Fund to join
this important opening event.

At our Spring Meetings that just concluded in Washington our members agreed
that the world economy is at a “delicate moment.”

The global expansion continues, but at a slower pace than previously
anticipated. While we expect growth to pick up slightly next year,
medium-term prospects continue to be moderate. However, we need to do
better. Stronger medium-term growth will also be essential for developing
economies to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs.)

Our work at the Fund is focused on how the global economy can do better. At
the core is three complementary and reinforcing areas of policy action:

– Domestic policies to build resilience and promote inclusion;

– Upgraded international cooperation;

– And a commitment to work together on broader global challenges.

In my brief remarks today, I will highlight a few examples:

  • No issue looms larger than trade. We must cooperate to
    resolve trade tensions and modernize the rules-based multilateral trade
    system. “Free, fair, and mutually beneficial goods and services trade
    and investment are key engines for growth and job creation.”
  • On climate change, joint action is essential to
    confront the broader challenges posed to the world economy. The IMF is
    working on areas such as fiscal policy for climate mitigation and
    adaptation, energy pricing, and building resilience in countries
    vulnerable to natural disasters.
  • On taxation, a re-design of the international
    corporate tax system is urgent. Global efforts could reduce
    cross-border tax avoidance and minimize profit shifting. The current
    situation is particularly harmful to low-income countries who have the
    most acute SDGs financing needs.
  • On public debt, I would highlight the risk in
    low-income developing countries, where over 40 percent are in debt
    distress or at a high risk of distress. Thus, we need actions to
    promote sustainable financing practices. The IMF and World Bank are
    implementing a strategy that aims to help countries identify
    vulnerabilities early and better manage their debt. We are providing
    diagnostic tools, expanding outreach with creditors, and scaling up
    technical assistance in debt management.
  • We must strengthen financial integrity. The annual
    cost of bribery is estimated at over 1.5 trillion U. S. dollars. This
    places a premium on transparency and accountability and supporting
    efforts to address money laundering, terrorist financing, and illicit
    financial flows.

In summary, we face important challenges at a “delicate” moment. To
overcome these, as noted in the Financing for Sustainable Development
Report, we need robust national actions and enhanced international

Thank you.

IMF Communications Department

PRESS OFFICER: Randa Elnagar

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org

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