Trade is the largest issue on global stage: IMF

By DG Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. 5 October 2019: The International Monetary Fund has warned anew against the impact of trade tensions, rising financial vulnerabilities and geopolitical uncertainties, calling for collective action to “uphold and modernise the international trade system.”

In the Fund’s Annual Report, which covers the activities of the Executive Board and IMF management and staff during the financial year May 1, 2018, through April 30, 2019, David Lipton, Acting Managing Director, said, “No issue looms larger on the global stage than trade.”

“Over the years, trade integration has brought enormous benefits around the world. But not everyone has benefitted, and there are distortions in the trade system that need to be reformed. Collective action is important to uphold and modernise the international trade system. It is also time to rethink the international architecture for corporate taxation to make it more fair, reflect changes in the global economy, and serve the interests of emerging and developing countries,” reads the report, published on the Fund’s portal, said Wam.

Delicate Moment

“The global economy is at a delicate moment. The expansion of early 2018 has lost momentum, in large part in response to rising trade tensions. There are threats from rising financial vulnerabilities and geopolitical uncertainties. These challenges call for policymakers to avoid missteps and to take the right policy steps: at home, across borders, and globally,” added Lipton in the report’s introductory message.

“First and foremost, policies must create conditions for people to succeed. Smarter fiscal policies can reduce inequality by striking the right balance between growth, debt sustainability, and social protection. Appropriately calibrated structural reforms can boost productivity and long-term, inclusive growth, which is especially important for those who have been left behind. Tackling corruption in its various forms will be critical to governments’ ability to build infrastructure and to expand public services. It will also help restore trust.”

The report is available on the web and in print in nine languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese (excerpt), Russian, and Spanish. The Annual Report website includes the IMF’s financial statements for FY2019 and other background documentation.