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Christine Lagarde: Romania has made very much progress in past 20 years


Romania has made very much progress in the past 20 years and what has been achieved in the partnership with the IMF is quite extraordinary, said Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, at the National Bank of Romania on Tuesday.

The IMF official mentioned the robust fiscal consolidation, the supervision and health of the financial field as well as certain key structural reforms in energy and the field of natural gas.

One must never forget how much Romania has advanced in the past 20 years, together with the IMF, said Lagarde. Up to 2007 Eastern Europe has grown more rapidly than all the other emerging states, except for China and India. For 2013 we expect only two countries in the region, Croatia and Slovenia, to be in recession as against eight countries in 2012, also said the IMF Managing Director.

She emphasized that Eastern Europe was much better off at present than it was 20 years ago and the GDP per capita tripled, from 3,000 dollars in 1993 to 10,000 dollars at present.

As for Romania the IMF Managing Director mentioned some advantages: the extraordinary human capital, the valuable energy resources, which are not explored for the moment, and the financing that is available from European funds, which must be turned to account.


IMF will be pleased to continue discussions with authorities of Romania


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be pleased to continue the discussions with the Romanian authorities, in order to help the stability of the macro-economic framework, which has been very efficiently restored, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday, at the National Bank of Romania (BNR) headquarters.

I know this has not been easy, but it would be a pity not to consolidate it, not to maintain this macro-economic framework and collect its benefits for strengthening growth, for creating new jobs and for making sure the entire Romanian people benefit from these efforts they had to make, Christine Lagarde said. We do not impose any kind of recipe or treatment, we only negotiate, talk to the authorities, respect their opinions. Then, we go with your opinions in front of the international community, who helps its members when they need it, the IMF official said.

She said that the IMF had and continued to have a lasting partnership with Romania, which was beneficial from a fiscal point of view, because it generated the economic stability needed to draw investments, to restore the confidence in the economic foundations of the country.

Moreover, I can say it is the IMF vocation to be asked for help when a country is confronted with a difficult situation or needs the professionalism and discipline that we are usually associated with, the IMF official explained.

Christine Lagarde talked about the economic developments in Romania and in Eastern Europe, in a conference on the topic 'Eastern Europe and Romania: The Road Ahead,' hosted by the National Bank of Romania.


Romania will probably have a new arrangement with the IMF


International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde told a roundtable conference on Tuesday hosted by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) that Romania would probably sign a new precautionary arrangement with the IMF.

She said a country decides whether or not it needs a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Politicians, she added, agree whether or not a new arrangement will benefit Romania. This, she said, is the first step, while the second step would be justifying the international funding, mobilising the international funding. My answer, she explained, is Romania will probably have a new arrangement given the wish of politicians to consolidate macroeconomic stability, to have an anchor for it and pursue the economic reforms still left unfinished. Such an arrangement, she said, would be important in order to avoid any temptation of taking steps back.

An IMF mission will be in Romania July 17-31.

The IMF Board of Directors late last month stated Romania successfully concluded its second stand-by arrangement with the IMF.


IMF's Lagarde: IMF is no ATM


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is no automatic teller machine or some insurance policy to be used as needed, visiting International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde told a roundtable conference on Tuesday in Bucharest hosted by the National Bank of Romania (BNR).

The IMF should continue being a preventive anchor for trust, consolidation of discipline and continuation of ongoing reforms so that what has been done so far may be consolidated, said Lagarde. The IMF, she added, wants a partnership with Romania, but this is no insurance olicy. The IMF comes only when a country accepts its presence there, she added, and IMF is a precautionary basis, as it is no cash dispenser or some insurance policy, Lagarde said in reply to a question about the part of the IMF.

In relation to the BNR's policy, Lagarde said there is no reason for BNR to modify it.

Saying that she believes the monetary policy has been efficient, she added that there is no reason for its modification now, adding that as far as Romania's switchover to the European single currency is concerned, she believes it takes sustained economic growth and consolidated reforms before that happens.

She explained that a stabilising factor for the economy's is an increase in discipline on two planes : budgetary consolidation and structural reforms.

On the other hand, Lagarde said the IMF has had a more relaxed attitude toward Romania as far as the latest arrangement was concerned because the efforts required for fiscal consolidation were noticeable, significant reforms were conducted, particularly in the financial sector, which became solid. Structural reforms were also conducted in the areas of energy, electricity and gas, as well as energy distribution, and reforms were initiated in relation to the privatisation of Government-run enterprises, said Lagarde, adding that there are certainly things left to be done.


Exports to EU market, more than just an opportunity for Romania


Romania could take advantage, in order to improve its population's living standards, of the huge potential of exports to the European Union market, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, stated on Monday.

Romania is a market that has a huge potential in the EU. 70 percent of the country's exports reach this market, which represents more than a simple opportunity for the country to improve its people's living standards, Lagarde told the conference ''Eastern Europe and Romania: The Road Ahead', hosted by the Romanian National Bank (BNR).

Romania can turn from a strong country as it is right now into an even more stronger country, said Mrs. Lagarde. IMF could become a permanent partner for you country, if you want it, Lagarde told the BNR governor, Mugur Isarescu and Prime Minister Victor Ponta.


Romania's economy should not only be grounded on foreign demand


Romania's economic growth should not only be grounded on foreign demand, but should also take into account the domestic consumption and investments, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday, at the National Bank of Romania (BNR) headquarters.

Economic growth is fuelled by three engines - the foreign engine, the domestic consumption and investments (capital expenses). Keeping in mind the stage of Romanian economy, it should take into account all three engines, because the dependency on a single engine could result in an imbalance, the IMF official said.

In the first quarter of 2013, Romania's economic growth was based on foreign demand and the current account registered surplus, the domestic consumption having been negative, same as the investments' dynamic.


Global growth projected at 3.1 percent in upcoming period


The International Monetary Fund estimates a global economy growth of 3.1 for the next period, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Tuesday told the conference 'Eastern Europe and Romania: The Road Ahead,' hosted by the National Bank.

Seen through the eyes of the IMF, this is an economic growth of 3.1 percent. Economy figures have not been positively revised, but they underwent just a minor downward revision, said Lagarde, who is currently on a visit to Romania.The conference was inaugurated by BNR governor Mugur Isarescu; attending the event alongside Christine Lagarde was Prime Minister Victor Ponta. There were more than 200 guests in the audience, managers from the banking sector, representatives of the political and academic milieu. (Please read Eastern Europe and Romania—The Path to Prosperity, By Christine Lagarde
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund Bucharest, July 16, 2013

and the Country Report http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=40775.0 )