To Japan, China and to roam
It’s oh, so nice to go trav’ling
But it’s so much nicer
Yes, it’s so much nicer not to come home
With apologies to Frank Sinatra
After just returning from his meetings relating to the overseas territories in Greenland and elsewhere, Cayman Islands pemier, McKeever Bush, sources inform us he will be ‚Äėtrav‚Äôling agin‚Äô today (Fri 5). This time, we understand, he is going to Japan for a Commonwealth Finance Ministers meeting ahead of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meeting. And then on to China!!
No official statement has been given by the Premier‚Äôs Office to us, nor we understand, to any media outlet, so all this is conjecture from informed sources.
The meeting of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers concerns ‚ÄúDebt Challenges of Commonwealth Small Vulnerable Economies (CSVEs)‚ÄĚ, and is to be held on 9 October 2012, in Tokyo, Japan. So that seems to be a reasonable guess Mr. Bush will be there.
This special ministerial meeting will revisit with CSVE Ministers the policy options developed by the Secretariat and discussed at CFMM 2010.¬† The aim of the meeting is to establish a framework for Commonwealth advocacy developed and led by Commonwealth SVE Ministers themselves and supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The Secretariat‚Äôs work programme has centred on two key issues:
How can CSVEs address the existing solvency issues posed by current debt levels?
How can CSVEs be financed in the future to ensure that long-term debt sustainability is achieved and maintained in light of their inherent structural vulnerabilities?
This work programme has yielded an extensive range of analysis and background papers. Collectively they represent an important advance in the empirical and analytical foundations required for addressing this complex challenge. The work has involved:
Debt Data Collection – The Secretariat collated data from Commonwealth SVEs in order to more accurately quantify their sovereign debt position.
Expert Meeting June 2010 – An expert panel was convened in June 2010 to explore and discuss possible policy options to address the looming debt problem of Commonwealth Small Vulnerable Economies.
Policy Development Papers – The Secretariat has worked with a number of leading experts to develop policy options to address the emerging debt problem.
Consultative Policy Workshop Jamaica 2010 – Senior CSVE officials met in Jamaica in September 2010 to examine and discuss proposed policy options. Discussion centred around:
Options for debt relief
Options to address the future financing and debt sustainability challenge ‚Äď reform of aid allocation criteria
Options to address the future financing and debt sustainability challenge ‚Äď Establishment of an Automatic Shock Facility
Reform of the International Insolvency Mechanism
The main IMF and World Bank meetings in Tokyo a few days later are formal gatherings of the Boards of Governors‚Äď‚Äďthe highest decision-making bodies of the two organisations. As customary, once in every three years the Annual Meetings are held outside the organizations‚Äô Washington D.C. headquarters. The 2012 meeting will mark the second time this event has been held in Japan, with the first such meeting held back in 1964. The year will also mark the 60th anniversary of Japan‚Äôs membership to the Fund and the Bank.
As the Annual Meetings are attended by finance ministers, central bank governors, and other principals from around the world, the official events will also be complemented by a large number of bilateral conferences, regular meetings of the G7, G20, G24, G10, Commonwealth minister conferences, and other events. The Annual Meetings gather not only ministers and key government officials, but also members of the private sector, including representatives of financial institutions, as well as the media and civil society organisations (CSOs). A number of seminars and symposiums, being held during the same week, provide additional opportunities for dialogue and networking. This is one of the largest international conferences in the world. During the meetings period, approximately 200 gatherings of all sizes will be held, attended by 10,000 participants. Total attendance including special guests, as well as private sector, media, and CSO representatives is expected to be approximately 20,000.
The IMF’s fundamental mission is to help ensure stability in the international system. It does so in three ways: keeping track of the global economy and the economies of member countries; lending to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and giving practical help to members.
The IMF oversees the international monetary system and monitors the financial and economic policies of its members. It keeps track of economic developments on a national, regional, and global basis, consulting regularly with member countries and providing them with macroeconomic and financial policy advice.
It assists mainly low- and middle-income countries in effectively managing their economies, the IMF provides practical guidance and training on how to upgrade institutions, and design appropriate macroeconomic, financial, and structural policies.
The IMF provides loans to countries that have trouble meeting their international payments and cannot otherwise find sufficient financing on affordable terms. This financial assistance is designed to help countries restore macroeconomic stability by rebuilding their international reserves, stabilising their currencies, and paying for imports‚ÄĒall necessary conditions for relaunching growth. The IMF also provides concessional loans to low-income countries to help them develop their economies and reduce poverty.
As the name indicates, the World Bank is a bank for the world that aims to provide support for efforts to reduce poverty in developing nations. The World Bank provides financial support and policy advice for programs that promote sustainable growth and improve living standards in these nations. ‚Ä®Because the stages of development and capital needs of developing nations are highly varied, a number of different institutions have been established, each with different purposes. These include the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), and International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and these institutions are collectively known as the “World Bank Group.”
And why is the Premier going to China? Your guess is as good as ours.
But why oh why does he have to be so secretive? Why does he have to do so much trav‚Äôlin?
Because it‚Äôs oh, so much nicer than coming home.