On November 8, 2012, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) considered the IMF’s Work Program
for the next twelve months. The focus will be on key policies that, building on the latest reforms, will secure recovery and lay the foundation for a more robust global financial architecture.
“The key is to ensure that good policies are not only designed but also implemented, and for this to happen countries have to act,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in presenting the Work Program to the Board. Recent developments point to continued weak global economic activity and the high potential of renewed stresses, she noted, adding that the Fund will continue to assist members in identifying systemic risks and designing strong policies to respond to threats to domestic and global stability.
The Work Program, published today, translates the broad policy directions laid out in the Global Policy Agenda
presented to the International Monetary and Financial Committee during the 2012 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, into a specific agenda for the Fund.
It highlights the efforts the Fund will pursue in further strengthening its policy analysis and in following up on progress in policy implementation in the advanced economies, in emerging market economies, and low-income countries. With regard to Fund lending, the Managing Director emphasized that “well-designed programs and adequate safety nets remain key to crisis resolution and management.”
For its low-income (LIC) members, the Fund will build on the recent review of the concessional lending facilities, to refine theses facilities to ensure that they best fit the needs of these countries. The Managing Director also emphasized the Fund’s close engagement with countries in the Middle East and North Africa through policy advice, capacity building, and financial assistance, as appropriate.
Other areas of focus will include:
- Strengthening financial systems. Consistent with the priorities outlined in its Financial Surveillance Strategy,financial sector surveillance will focus on macroprudential policies, better identifying risks, and macro-financial policy advice.
- Dealing with high debt. Fund surveillance and policy advice will support members that will be dealing with the legacy of high debt in an environment of low growth. Key aspects will be to identify the scope for growth-friendly fiscal adjustment and options to strengthen fiscal institutions and debt sustainability analysis.
- Supporting growth and jobs. Under the guidance of an interdepartmental working group, additional work is underway on employment friendly growth and labor market policies.
- Global imbalances and spillovers. Through theIntegrated Surveillance Decision, the Fund will engage with member countries on policies to mitigate adverse outward and inward spillovers and in ensuring the multilateral consistency of policies.
- Capacity building. The Fund will refine its capacity building developing strategy to strengthen policies and governance in member countries through stronger institutions.
- The Fund will also pursue work on governance reforms, transparency, and diversity-key elements of the Fund’s interaction with the outside world and internally.