Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in the city of Montevideo at the conclusion of his visit to Uruguay:
“It has been a great pleasure for me to visit Uruguay—my first visit as Managing Director of the IMF—and it has been a happy coincidence that it took place during its bicentenary celebrations of independence. I have enjoyed productive meetings with President José Mujica, Vice-President Astori, Minister of Finance Lorenzo, and the Central Bank President Bergara. I would like thank them for their warm hospitality.
“I also had a fruitful discussion with parliamentarians. I met with the president of the Finance Committee, Senator Baráibar, and legislators from across the Parliament. I learned much from their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities Uruguay faces.
“Over the last decade Uruguay has achieved remarkable economic progress that has brought substantial increases in living standards. Maintaining macroeconomic stability is an essential foundation for further social improvements because the boom and bust cycles hurt the poorest and vulnerable groups in society the most. Managing the current boom and taking the opportunity to strengthen Uruguay’s resilience to future shocks is a key policy priority. Now is also a good time to move ahead with reforms that generate long-term sustained growth that are shared by all sectors in society, and the current government’s focus on tackling infrastructure gaps and education is welcome.
“I also had a useful and enjoyable discussion with Uruguayan students. I was impressed by the sharpness of the questions, and their commitment to build a better future for their country. In this region as elsewhere, it is the young—the leaders of tomorrow—who will play a critical role in turning that commitment into reality.”