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TANAKA Akihiko

February 18, 2015

Third IMF-JICA High-Level Conference Discusses Supporting Rapid and Inclusive Growth in Frontier and Developing Asia

International Monetary Fund
Japan International Cooperation Agency

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today held a conference in Tokyo, Japan, entitled “Frontier and Developing Asia: Supporting Rapid and Inclusive Growth.” The conference brought together ministers, central bank governors, other senior policymakers and academics from the region, along with staff from the IMF, JICA and other international financial institutions. Participants discussed inclusive and sustainable growth challenges and policy priorities that would set Frontier and Developing Asia on a successful path to become emerging markets while ensuring that growth benefits all segments of society.

In welcoming participants to the conference, Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, President of JICA, emphasized the overwhelming investment needs of the Asia-Pacific region in coming years and asked “how can we efficiently and effectively mobilize public and private, domestic and external finance?” He continued, “monetary and fiscal soundness, and development, provide a firm foundation for tackling the financing challenge ahead of us. At the same time, this offers an enabling environment for redistribution measures and the provision of social services to fight against inequality.” Concluding his remarks, Dr. Tanaka said that this conference offers “a unique opportunity for sharing the latest research and bringing diverse experience and practices on how to promote rapid, inclusive and resilient growth.”

IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara said that across Asia, most frontier and developing economies have seen robust growth, even higher than in other emerging market economies. “Rapid growth has pulled millions out of poverty. But important challenges remain.” Mr. Shinohara also remarked that the Fund’s policy advice across the globe has been mindful of the social impact of economic policies—especially with lower-income countries, adding that the IMF has stepped up its engagement with Frontier and Developing Asia. “Our research into the drivers of inclusive growth is being translated into practical policy advice. Today’s conference is another step in this direction.”

The discussions of the conference centered on four topics under two themes: (1) inclusive growth (promoting inclusive growth and fiscal sustainability; promoting small and medium enterprise development) and (2) strengthening capital and financial markets (dollarization or dedollarization; and how finance can help frontier Asia meet infrastructure needs and address demographic challenges). Mr. Changyong Rhee, Director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, said “Frontier Asia should strive to improve institutions, strengthen efforts to mobilize fiscal revenues, and increase investments in infrastructure while deepening the financial sector to support SME development.” Mr. Kiyoshi Kodera, Vice President of JICA said, "Fiscal redistribution measures are truly important to achieve inclusive growth; however, timing the introduction of such measures and fostering administrative capacity could be a challenge for frontier and developing Asian countries.”

The frontier and developing economies participating in the conference were Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao P.D.R., Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The conference’s program and presentations are available on the following website:


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