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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
IMF calls for 'better globalisation'
Anti-globalisation protester
Anti-globalisation protesters are already gearing up

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has acknowledged that some of its lending programmes are faulty and in need of reform.


But the objective should not be less globalisation but more and better globalisation

Horst Koehler
"The IMF is in the process of change," managing director Horst Koehler told a press briefing ahead of the Fund and World Bank annual meetings this weekend.

The Fund has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks, owing to current economic crises in Latin America - not least Argentina.

Once viewed as a poster child for economic-assistance programmes, the South American nation has become defiant of late, threatening to not repay existing loans.

The rebellion is response to calls by IMF directors for assurances of governmental and economic reform.

Globalisation

To critics of globalisation, including protesters who are planning demonstrations on Friday at IMF and World Bank headquarters in Washington, Mr Koehler said he shared their concerns.

IMF Managing Director Horst Koehler
Mr Koehler has promised a "better IMF"
The benefits of globalisation have not been equally shared, Mr Koehler said, especially within poor countries.

"But the objective should not be less globalisation but more and better globalisation," he said.

The challenge of globalisation lies within looking for common solutions, he said in response to harsh criticism that IMF lending policies impoverish poor nations rather than freeing them from economic hardship.

He said international trade provides the best opportunity for the poor nations of the world to integrate into the global economy.

Enhanced policies, improved governance and better cooperation are needed to achieve that goal, he said.

Weaker world economy

Speaking on the state of the world economy, the IMF director said it "faces some difficult issues", noting prospects for recovery had darkened considerably since finance officials met earlier this year.

"Since the spring meetings [of the IMF and World Bank] prospects for the global economy have clearly weakened amid considerable financial-market volatility."

He said, however, the world economy had "shown remarkable resilience" given the multiple shocks over the last two years, reiterating an assessment published in the fund's World Economic Outlook, released on Wednesday.

The economies of the world should continue to rebound as long as policy makers remain vigilant and work to rebuild confidence, he said.

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Developing countries

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See also:

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24 Sep 02 | Business
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