Finance Minister Colm Imbert met with International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive director Afonso Bevilaqua, IMF executive director for TT on Tuesday at the ministry’s office in Port of Spain. The meeting was part of the fund’s staff visit to this country. Asked about the meeting on Friday, Imbert said it was “a sort of preliminary meeting”, a precursor to the Article IV Consultation, which will happen in March.
According to the fund’s website, when a country joins the IMF, it agrees to subject its economic and financial policies to the scrutiny of the international community. It also makes a commitment to pursue policies that are conducive to orderly economic growth and reasonable price stability, to avoid manipulating exchange rates for unfair competitive advantage, and to provide the IMF with data about its economy. The IMF’s regular monitoring of economies and associated provision of policy advice is intended to identify weaknesses that are causing or could lead to financial or economic instability. Article IV consultations are part of the “country surveillance”, an ongoing process that culminates in regular (usually annual) comprehensive consultations with individual member countries, as required by Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement. During an Article IV consultation, an IMF team of economists visits a country to assess economic and financial developments and discuss the country’s policies with government and central bank officials. IMF staff missions also often meet with parliamentarians and representatives of business, labour unions, and civil society. TT’s last Article IV report was published in September 2018.
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