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Finance Ministers' Meetings

Statement of G-7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Tokyo, Japan, January 22, 2000

1. We, the Finance Ministers of the G-7 countries, the Central Bank Governors of Canada, Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, the Euro-11 Presidency, and the President of the European Central Bank, met today with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund to review recent developments in the world economy. The Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G-7 countries reviewed the progress made towards strengthening the international financial architecture and implementing the HIPC Initiative. 

  2. We expressed our deep gratitude to Mr. Camdessus for his thirteen years of valuable service as the IMF's Managing Director and for his contributions to our meetings.

  Developments in the World Economy

3. We see improved prospects for non-inflationary growth in the major industrial economies and the world economy as a whole. The challenge remains to secure a more balanced pattern of growth among our economies that is important to sustaining the expansion. We agreed on the importance of directing both macroeconomic and structural policies in all our countries at this objective, with particular emphasis on taking advantage of the investment opportunities created by new technologies.

4. Open and competitive international markets for trade and investment are essential for efficient global resource allocation, sustainable growth, stability, and shared prosperity. We reaffirm our commitment to achieving further trade liberalization through the launching of a new multilateral trade round at the earliest opportunity.

  5. We reemphasized our commitment to maintain or create conditions for sustainable growth in each country. In this context, we stressed the importance of continued cooperation among the G-7 countries.

Exchange Rates

6. We discussed developments in our exchange and financial markets. We welcomed the reaffirmation by the Japanese monetary authorities of their intention to conduct policies appropriately in view of their concern, which we share, about the potential impact of yen appreciation for the Japanese economy and the world economy. We will continue to monitor developments in exchange markets and cooperate as appropriate. 

Emerging Market Economies

7. In the emerging market economies, recent economic developments have been generally encouraging, and market sentiment has improved. We welcome the earlier and stronger than expected economic recovery in many Asian nations. Along with appropriate macroeconomic policies, full implementation of reforms in the financial and corporate sectors are crucial preconditions for restoring strong sustainable growth and avoiding future financial instability. In Latin American countries, there are welcome signs of improved economic conditions in the region as a whole. These countries need to persist with sound macroeconomic policies and the deepening of economic reforms, including strengthening of the financial sector, which are essential in paving the way for economic recovery and full restoration of market confidence.


8. We welcome favorable developments in some areas of the Russian economy, reflecting improved external factors. We urge the Russian authorities to intensify macroeconomic stabilization and economic reforms which are necessary for sustained economic growth. These include enhanced transparency, budgetary and financial accountability, structural and institutional reform, and combating corruption and money laundering.

Strengthening the International Financial and Monetary System

9. We reviewed with satisfaction the progress that has been made since our last meeting in September to strengthen the international financial architecture in line with the G-7 Finance Ministers' Report at the Cologne Summit last June.

We will continue to work to achieve solid progress in implementing the wide range of reforms endorsed at the Cologne Summit, including ways to ensure private sector involvement in forestalling and resolving crisis. We will also continue to work together on measures to strengthen the functioning of the IMF to ensure that its role reflects the changing global financial landscape. In that context, we will examine appropriate measures, including a greater focus on promoting the flow of information to markets and reducing liquidity and balance sheet risks, and a comprehensive review of IMF facilities. We also agreed to consider in our future work the role of Multilateral Development Banks in the context of changing global conditions.

  Actions against Abuse of the Global Financial System 

10. In order to secure the benefits of the global financial system we must ensure that its credibility and integrity are not undermined by crime, poor regulatory standards and harmful tax competition.

We commit ourselves to tackling these issues, in close coordination with relevant multilateral fora, and will report on the progress at the upcoming Summit meeting. 

Enhanced HIPC Initiative

11. We reaffirmed our commitment to the enhanced HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Country) Initiative and its speedy implementation. While we welcome the considerable progress made so far, notably in identifying and securing resources for financing of the HIPC Initiative, further steps need to be taken to secure the practical implementation of the Initiative to provide faster, broader and deeper debt relief. 

We welcome the recent statement of World Bank and IMF that up to eleven countries could benefit from HIPC debt relief by early spring. We urge the IFIs to continue to work with the HIPC countries to ensure that three quarters of the eligible countries have reached their decision point under the Initiative by the end of 2000.

Kyushu-Okinawa Summit

12. We discussed issues to be taken up at the Fukuoka Finance Ministers' Meeting which will be held in July as a part of the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit. These issues may include, in addition to a follow-up on progress in the reform of the international financial architecture and the HIPC initiative, the opportunities and challenges posed by further advancement of information technology and globalization and their implications for our public policies. We will start preparatory work for the Fukuoka Meeting. 

Source: Japan, Ministry of Finance.

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