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IMF Begins Article IV Consultations

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Tuesday, July 5, 2005 - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commenced its Article IV Consultations in Saint Lucia.

Article IV consultations are regularly carried out in member countries of the Fund. In accordance with established procedures, each member-state of the Fund agrees to the regular review of economic conditions as a means of independently assessing economic policies in conjunction with current world economic conditions.

The IMF was created in 1945 to help promote the health of the world economy. Headquartered in Washington DC, it is governed by and accountable to the governments of the 184 countries that make up its near-global membership.

The IMF is responsible for ensuring the stability of the international monetary and financial system -- the system of international payments and exchange rates among national currencies that enable trade to take place between countries.

The Fund seeks to promote economic stability and prevent crises; to help resolve crises when they do occur; and to promote growth and alleviate poverty. It employs three main functions—surveillance, technical assistance, and lending—to meet these objectives.

As a small developing state with an open economy, Saint Lucia welcomes these economic assessments, as they act as a means of informing the Government of Saint Lucia on what economic policies may be considered to ensure stability as the country interacts with other world economies.

During the next two weeks, the IMF team, in conjunction with members of staff of the Ministry of Finance, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will be engaging in discussions with officials from the private and public sector on matters of mutual economic interest.

The visiting IMF team of four persons is headed by Mr. Hans Peter Lankes, Division Chief in the Policy Development and Review Department.

It is expected that the results of the assessment will be published on the IMF website at the conclusion of the approval process of the review.

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