One on One with IMF Managing Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn
"Thank you, Mr. Strauss-Kahn for this interview. My first question is that there is some reluctance or resentment in Asia because of some of the policies that the governments in Asia implemented for receiving aid during the financial crisis. And I know that this conference is perhaps a good step forward for saying what's done is done and moving forward. Is there any other steps going forward that the IMF is planning to implement[Interview : Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director
IMF] "Yes, it's more than reluctance and I can understand why the memory of Asian citizens are so strong against the IMF. Because the consequences of the IMF program 10 years ago on the one hand were what was expected and the financial sector has been cleaned up. That's one of the reasons why the banking sector during this crisis in Korea, Thailand and Indonesia have not been hard hit by the crisis. On the other hand, the consequences on the people have been very painful and so I do understand that they have bad memories. But you know we need to look forward. And with the increasing role of Asian countries in the global economy, the IMF needs Asia and Asia needs the IMF because there is no way for Asian countries to have their responsibility and to have the influence in the global debate if they don't take the room they deserve in the IMF. So I am committed to increase the role of Asian countries in the IMF.
"I know that the IMF has been closely working with the Korean government for the past year or so. And the government is pushing for the creation of the global financial safety net. I know it's a working progress, but could you comment on some of the progress that is being made[Interview : Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director
IMF] "The idea is to build a facility tool kit improving what we already have, the flexible credit line which has been used during the crisis by three countries, Mexico, Colombia and Poland.
Based on this experience we can improve this tool and also create a tool that is a precautionary credit line for countries that needs some precautionary thing but they may not use, but have it in case and we are working also in something which could be a multi-country program or multi-country facility. And all this we do it in a very close relationship with the Korean government. And I hope that this could be delivered at the summit in November and it will be a very big achievement because it will really be adapting the IMF facility to the 21th century. And it will be a task for which a large part of the merits can be given to the Korean authorities.
"Lastly, following the G8 and G20 summits in Canada, the G20 framework really emerged and solidified its place as the premier forum for economic cooperation. How do you see this platform going forward[Interview : Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director
IMF] "Well, I think this is a very important point. Because, you know, for the G20 to be effective it needs to have something to do on a regular basis. And this G20 framework which is basically the fact that the IMF provides this technical assistance to put together all the focus of different countries and see if it fits and what can be done to improve the focus. And this appears to be the main tool that the G20 could use for organizing economic cooperation. I think it went well in Toronto and it will be even better in Seoul. It's a 'learning by doing' process. It was the first time in Toronto that the head of states had this kind of report and they will have it for the second time in Seoul. And I do believe it is going to become the most important place for economic coordination. Economic coordination is very important. That's the way we avoided this crisis to be as severe as the global depression. Remember two years ago, many were saying that we were going to face something as big as the Great Depression. And we avoided it. How did we avoid it "Thank you very much."
[Interview : Strauss-Kahn] "Thank you."
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