On July 9, 2012 ? In Finance

The global community must work together to meet the challenges thrown up by the global financial crisis and to ensure future stability and growth, says the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde.

During a keynote speech in Tokyo?the first stop in a three-country trip to Asia?the IMF Managing Director said in today?s interconnected world, countries could not afford to look only at events within national borders.

?This crisis does not recognize borders. This crisis is knocking at all our doors,? said Lagarde. ?For make no mistake. This is a global crisis,? she added.

Lagarde said over the past few months, the outlook for the global economy had become increasingly worrying. There are signs that activity is slowing across both advanced and emerging market economies.

The IMF is due to release its growth forecast for the global economy on July 16. It is expected to be lower than anticipated in the institution?s April World Economic Outlook.
Lagarde acknowledged that major steps had been taken to stabilize the European debt crisis, but warned that without continued, decisive measures, the damaging effect on stability and growth would be felt not just in Europe, but worldwide.

To address the common threats facing the global economy, ?solutions need to be grounded in cooperation,? said Lagarde.

IMF research suggests that a coordinated strengthening of policies across the Group of 20 leading economies (G-20) could raise global GDP by 7 percent and boost jobs by 36 million over the medium term.
Lagarde identified major areas which needed addressing to ?break the main chains of this crisis: weak sovereigns, weak banks, and weak growth.? By weak sovereigns, Lagarde was referring to the weak fiscal positions and high national debt of some advanced economies.

She said countries must deal decisively with the issue of public debt, as well as restoring the health of the financial sector. But in addition, there needed to be structural reforms, whether in labor, service, or product market reforms.

The IMF head paid tribute to Japan?s own spirit of solidarity and multilateralism exhibited during 60 years of Japanese membership of the Fund, and the recent crisis.

?When the global economy faced its darkest hours, you stood by your fellow global citizens,? she said, recalling that in 2008 and then again earlier this year, Japan was the first country to offer loans to boost IMF resources, and help stave off an even more direct, global economic collapse.

Japan has also contributed more than any other country to the IMF?s  concessional lending program and its technical assistance and capacity building, as well as supporting more than 660 students through the IMF?s scholarship program.  Lagarde said she looked forward to the forthcoming due to take place in Tokyo in October.

?All eyes of the world will be on Japan as we seek to find global solutions to global challenges,? said Lagarde.

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