Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today at the conclusion of the Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
“The G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors took place against the backdrop of continued strong but more uneven global growth. Indeed, the world economy is facing increasing risks, especially in the short term, from rising trade tensions, financial pressures in vulnerable emerging economies, and the return of sovereign risk in parts of the euro area.
“During the meetings I encouraged policy makers to address these growing risks decisively and in a cooperative spirit to ensure that the recent period of strong growth endures and that the dividends are more widely shared. This is most crucial when it comes to safeguarding the open international trade system. I urged once more that trade conflicts be resolved via international cooperation without resort to exceptional measures.
“Macroeconomic policies should adapt to the changing outlook, taking individual circumstances into account. In many countries, especially in those with excess current account deficits, this means avoiding procyclical fiscal policies to help put debt on a downward path; and in excess surplus countries with fiscal space, it means investing more in human and physical capital to raise potential output and catalyze private investment. These steps will also help to moderate global economic imbalances.”
“In response to financial volatility, exchange rate flexibility should continue to play a role in buffering shocks in emerging economies, and prudential policies should address financial vulnerabilities everywhere.
“In Buenos Aires, our discussions also focused on the future of work, a key priority for the Argentine G-20 chairmanship. New technologies and rapid advances in digitalization, artificial intelligence, and automation hold both enormous potential and significant challenges. I am optimistic that with a comprehensive and coordinated policy response to facilitate change, the benefits of this new wave of technologies will by far outweigh the downsides. This response must include continued investment in education, lifelong learning and appropriate social safety nets.
“There was broad recognition in our meeting that the benefits of a strong financial regulatory system offset its costs and that global cooperation remains critical. There was also progress in the discussions on financial innovation and the importance of harnessing the potential of fintech while at the same time mitigating risks.
“I am encouraged that the G20 Ministers and Governors reaffirmed their commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF at the center of the global financial safety net.
“I would like to express my great appreciation to the Argentine authorities for their excellent organization and effective leadership of this G20 meeting. I look forward to returning to Argentina for the G-20 Summit in November.”
Compliments of the IMF