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Pacific island nations need to build resilience against shocks: IMF deputy chief

03-23-2012 10:19 BJT

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Pacific island nations face challenges and they need to build buffer against external shocks, said Zhu Min, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday.

"Those countries are obviously very diversified, they are very different in terms of cultures and economic structures. But they are facing common challenges," Zhu said at a high-level conference hosted jointly by the IMF and the government of Samoa on regional economic and development issues.

The senior official noted that the Pacific countries have very narrow base for production and export, and very limited space for diversification.

In order to build resilience to external shocks, Zhu said the first priority is to "try to build fiscal buffer in good years, particularly when growth is strong."

Zhu insisted that it is also important for Pacific countries to safeguard the socially and economically vulnerable, saying that they need to build more social safety net and provide service flows for all the people, particularly for the vulnerable in the downturn.

Zhu expressed high hope for the conference. "We very much expected to see very fruitful conversation with them to exchange views. We bring our knowledge, our forecast for the global financial situation to them, and they also bring their local knowledge for us to understand their situations better," he said.

Policymakers from 10 Pacific island nations, representatives from regional development partners, international organizations, academia, and the private sector attended the conference.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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