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Lagarde: Hangzhou Action Plan Aims to Increase Growth, Protectionism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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China’s President Xi Jinping speaks at a news conference after the closing of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Hangzhou – International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde described the conclusion of G20 summit as “a very successful meeting,” and said that the IMF looks forward to implementing the agreements reached at the summit.

Lagarde was speaking during a press conference summit attended by Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

IMF chief said growth has been too low for too long and that structural reforms must not just be thought about but implemented.

Lagarde stated in her speech that the priorities of the Hangzhou Action Plan priorities were coordinated effort to raise growth.

The chief delivered a pessimistic speech saying that the world is facing a toxic combination of slow growth and excessive inequality.

“The G20 also agreed to identify and prioritize reforms that provide the biggest growth impulse for each country, which is an area where the IMF is actively engaged. Pushing back against protectionism and pushing forward with free and fair trade is a vital component of this growth agenda,” she declared.

IMF chief added that the “second priority is a commitment that growth must be more widely shared.
Again, countries should deploy proven tools to reduce excessive inequality and raise economic prospects, particularly for low-income groups and workers affected by rapid technological change–for example, through skills training and investments in education and health. We need increased growth, but it must be better balanced, more sustainable, and inclusive so as to benefit all people.”

The G20 leaders welcomed the entry into effect of the reforms, which represents a major step toward reflecting the increasing role of dynamic emerging-market countries in the fund’s governance.

“G20 leaders welcomed the entry-into-effect of the IMF’s 14th review of quota reforms–which represent a major step toward reflecting the increasing role of dynamic emerging market countries in the Fund’s governance–and working towards completion of the 15th review by the 2017 Annual Meetings. The G20 also welcomed the inclusion of the Renminbi into the SDR (Special Drawing Right) currency basket as of October 1st–an important milestone that will help strengthen the international monetary system as well as China’s role in the global economy. More generally, the G20 supported the ongoing exploration of broader use of the SDR,” she explained.

Lagarde warned leaders of G20 of falling into slow growth. She asked the leaders to exert more efforts into increase international demand and enhance trade conditions and globalization.

Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed similar fears in his opening speech of the G20 summit saying that the world economy is now in profound adjustments and moving along a twisted path to recovery.

Chinese president called upon the states of the G20 to enable the G20 to transform from a crisis response mechanism focusing on short-term policies to one of long-term.