October 16, 2021

IMF / 2021 Annual Meetings MD Curtain Raiser Speech

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The global growth will moderate slightly this year, IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced in her Annual Meetings Curtain Raiser speech which was hosted virtually by Bocconi university in Milan.

“In July, we projected global growth at six percent in 2021, as you will see in our updated world economic outlook next week, we now expect growth to moderate slightly this year. But the risks and obstacles to a balanced global recovery have become even more pronounced,” said Georgieva.

Georgieva gave the audience a taste of what will be on the Annual Meetings’ agenda and what needs to be done to overcome divisions and obstacles to recovery.

Her main message was to Vaccinate 40% of people in every country by the end of this year and at least 70% by the first half of 2022, calibrate policies to country circumstances, and accelerate the reforms needed to transform economies amid the sweeping global changes in years and decades ahead.

She also highlighted the importance of scaling up green investment over the next two decades.  

“We need substantial scaling up of green investment over the next two decades, and we need support for the most vulnerable within societies and among countries. This will help ensure a transition that benefits all and one that is just.”

“The green transition also presents huge opportunities to shift to renewables, new electricity networks, energy efficiency, low carbon mobility and to do this with a combination of supply policies, we can raise global GDP by about two percent this decade and create 30 million new jobs,” said Georgieva.

On digital currencies, she said that it can reduce the time needed for cross-border payments to seconds and sharply cut costs but warned that the perils of new technology will need to be carefully managed.

“We at the IMF and other institutions ask for international stability. We have to have regulation. We have to get rules in place if we want, in the words of money, digital to be a plus rather than a risk. And it is very impressive how much the international community, the central banks, institutions like ours are now actively engaged to make sure that in this fast-moving world of digitalization, money is a source of confidence and helps the economy function rather than a risk,” emphasized Georgieva.

She concluded her remarks by stressing on the important work Europe is doing to avoid a new sovereign debt crisis

“We are already seeing countries recognizing that the bills are going to come due and that it is important that we gradually project confidence in that stabilization and fiscal consolidation need not mean that we are going to have brutal cuts in education and health care. It means that we project over the next couple of years how we are going to gradually shift course, so the debt burden is to be eased over time. That combination of growth and medium-term fiscal consolidation, I’m confident, will bring Europe on a sound footing and the ministers of finance in Europe, policymakers in Europe seem to be quite engaged on those two sites,” said Georgieva.

To watch the full event, click here.

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