News / Economy

IMF, World Bank Discuss Wide Range of Economic Issues

France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who serves as chair of the Group of 20, begins a news conference at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington, April 15, 2011
France's Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who serves as chair of the Group of 20, begins a news conference at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington, April 15, 2011

Multimedia

Top economic officials from around the world are in Washington this weekend to discuss a wide range of global economic issues - from large national debts to the impact of the unrest in the Middle East. Although experts say the global economic recovery already is well underway, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund say important challenges remain.

Finance ministers and central bankers attending the World Bank, IMF Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., agree the threat of another global downturn has receded. But the recovery remains fragile. Ahead of the meeting, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned leaders not to become complacent.

"It's not the recovery we want because it's still imbalanced between countries and it's also imbalanced within countries," he said. "That's certainly the reason why uncertainty is still very high."

Among the goals for the Spring Meeting is finding ways to measure imbalances that contributed to the financial crisis. Late Friday, finance ministers announced agreement on a mechanism to monitor countries and prod them to take corrective actions when imbalances in areas such as foreign trade or government debt rise to excessive levels.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, chair of the G20 summit in France later this year, called it a significant achievement.

"Suffice to say that we've made, in my view, huge progress in relation to the framework for growth," said Lagarde. "I think agreeing on the indicative guidelines was a major step in the direction of establishing the right policies with the appropriate spillover effects and not negative spillover effects."

With emerging economies growing faster than advanced economies, the World Bank and the IMF say rich countries like the U.S. must do more to reduce debt, while fast growing economies, such as China, should allow currencies to rise to reduce dependency on export markets.  

More immediate concerns include the recent spike in oil and food prices. Letsetja Kganyago, director of the South African National Treasury, says food security is high on the agenda for many developing countries.

"This is a basic need for our citizens. And if we are to see the same effects that we have seen in 2008, where you had prices rising to the extent that they did and where you saw in other areas where you had food shortages, then we are going to be running into all sorts of problems," said Kganyago.

Other problems to be discussed at the two-day meeting include high inflation in fast growing economies, and the European debt crisis, which  already has resulted in bailouts for Ireland, Greece and Portugal. Ministers also will look at the impact of the Japan earthquake on the global supply chain, and the Middle East turmoil on energy prices.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.