United Arab Emirates

UAE: IMF chief’s advice for Arab countries


By added on 27/02/2017

Abu Dhabi: The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, recently provided recommendations to develop a medium-term strategy that would enable Arab countries to generate government revenues to support growth, reports Gulf News.

“Gradual fiscal consolidation and vigorous implementation of structural reforms will help the UAE economy adjust to lower oil price,” Lagarde said in a statement at the conclusion of a meeting with the officials of the UAE Ministry of Finance on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017 (WGS), held earlier this month in Dubai, according to an emailed press release from the Ministry.

“In my speech at the opening of the Arab Fiscal Forum, jointly organised by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) and the IMF, I stressed the importance of developing a medium-term strategy for generating higher and more predictable government revenues in Arab countries to finance spending that promotes growth, equity, and inclusiveness,” the Ministry quoted Lagarde as saying.

Lagarde expressed her great pleasure to visit the UAE again and engage with its leadership and people.

“We had constructive discussions about the global economy, the outlook for the region, and the UAE economy.”

“During my meetings, I complimented the UAE authorities on their sound policies. Gradual fiscal consolidation and vigorous implementation of structural reforms, including those underlying Vision 2021, will help the economy adjust to the lower oil price environment, promote further economic diversification, and boost productivity,” she said.

“At the World Government Summit, I had the opportunity to engage with policymakers and private sector leaders on future global and regional developments. I shared the IMF’s latest assessment of the global outlook and risks, and participated in stimulating discussions on challenges in economic diversification and the use of new financial technologies.”

Lagarde also interacted with representatives of the private sector, women leaders, and young innovators operating from the UAE. She said she was inspired by their innovativeness, dynamism, and determination to respond proactively and thoughtfully to challenges.

“The IMF enjoys a strong relationship with the UAE authorities. I reiterated the IMF’s readiness to continue to help the authorities through a policy dialogue tailored to the needs and circumstances of the UAE economy,” Lagarde said.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs said: “The Ministry’s enthusiasm to contribute to the World Government Summit through the strategic partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office, reflects the close working relationship between the UAE, IMF and international financial institutions.

“Christine Lagarde’s visit to the UAE has contributed in providing recommendations for the UAE’s economy, strengthening the country’s leading global economic position. We look forward to having positive and active contributions to various future economic and development forums whether on a regional or international level,” he added.

The Ministry, he said, applauds the tireless effort of Christine Lagarde to contribute to the development of the global economy and the financial sector. “We are also pleased by the UAE’s successful experience in the field of innovation, and the country’s status as a leading economic and financial model.”

The Ministry of Finance contributed to the success of the World Government Summit 2017 through its active participation in organising sessions to bring together experts and decision makers to discuss the future of government.

These include a high-level ministerial session to discuss economic diversification. It was organised in cooperation with the Prime Minister’s Office and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A Fintech session was held to introduce participants to the role of digital technological developments in enhancing financial services.

During the World Government Summit 2017, Christine Lagarde attended a meeting with leading businesswomen. The Ministry also organised a visit to the Museum of the Future and future accelerators in coordination with Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation. Christine Lagarde also met with innovators to review their innovative ideas and experiences.

Lagarde attended the Second Arab Fiscal Forum, held with the theme ‘Revenue Diversification in Arab Countries, by the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the AMF and IMF. The forum brought together decision makers and thought leaders to discuss economic and financial issues and developments, particularly the sharp decline in oil prices and the slowdown in world economic growth.

Lagarde also attended a number of sessions which were organised by the Ministry of Finance, including the “Innovation Discussion” session which covered the UAE’s innovative initiatives in the seven key sectors.