Mr. Min Zhu, the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says partnership, commitment and flexibility would be key in moving further on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth.
Speaking at a United Nations (UN) Conference on Financing for Development, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr Min, said the world had changed since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals a decade and a half ago.
Progress has also been made since the call to combat extreme poverty was reinforced in Monterrey, as the IMF stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the UN and other partners to forge a consensus on Financing for Development.
“On the journey from Monterrey to Addis Ababa, much of the world has changed. Across many developing countries, where there was once isolation and stagnation, there is now integration and growth,” he said.
“In non-fragile low-income countries, real per capita GDP has increased by almost 70 per cent,” he said, adding that, there was still inequality and extreme poverty, owing to the fact that fragile countries had fallen behind.
“As we gather here in Ethiopia—a dynamic country in a rising continent—we share a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
Mr. Min, citing an African proverb that goes, “Unity is strength, division is weakness” said further growth would require unity, guided by the three principles of partnership, commitment and flexibility.
He stated that, all countries—developing, emerging, and advanced—must work together with civil society, the private sector, and international organizations, explaining that, though developing countries were best placed to drive their own development and sound macroeconomic policies and mobilize resources and use them efficiently and effectively, they could not do it alone.
“The international community has a responsibility to create an enabling environment for sustainable growth and development—working hand-in-hand with the developing countries themselves. Together—through partnership—we are greater than the sum of our parts.”
Mr. Min also noted that in order to be effective partners, there was the need to demonstrate sustained commitment—not only for 2015, but for a generation.
He said the IMF, with its with global membership and mandate to promote growth and stability, was committed to help turn the new Accord into action, adding that, as well as enhancing its core functions of policy advice and capacity building, the Fund will also strengthen its lending to developing countries—in three key ways.
He said: “We will expand access to all our concessional facilities by a full 50 per cent, adding that, we will target that concessional financing even more on the poorest and most vulnerable countries and we will maintain for the longer term, the zero interest rate on our Rapid Credit Facility loans—for fragile states and countries hit by natural disasters.”
“In these very concrete ways, the IMF is strengthening the global safety net for low-income countries. And the IMF is strengthening its commitment,” he stressed.
Lastly, he reiterated the need for countries to be ready to adapt to new challenges as they arose, saying that, though some of these challenges, such as demographics, technology, and the environment, were well-known, their future ramifications were not.
“I can tell you that the IMF is already moving to address what we see as some of the major forces affecting our future: fighting excessive inequality; promoting women’s empowerment; mitigating climate change—and, of course, eliminating absolute poverty. Going forward, you will see these issues feature increasingly in the work of an increasingly flexible Fund,” he said.
“A single bracelet does not jingle. It is only by working together that we can seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity—in Addis Ababa today, and beyond,” he concluded.