IMF to Help Iran Relink With Global Banking
The International Monetary Fund will use its resources to help remove barriers that hinder Iran’s restoration of ties with international lenders and financial institutions, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said in a meeting with an Iranian delegation on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group in Washington
“I will personally discuss the banking issue with US officials in order to solve the problem and accelerate the process of joint efforts between Iran and international monetary organizations,” Shada quoted her as telling the Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia.
“The IMF will also continue providing Iranian banks with technical assistance and training and the collective experience of other countries,” she added in what was the first meeting between a senior official from Tehran and the IMF chief in two decades.
Tayyebnia presented a report on the developments in the Iranian economy after President Hassan Rouhani’s government came to office in mid-2013. He also briefed Lagarde on the macroeconomic policies, especially those regarding structural reforms as part of the Resistance Economy in 2015.
The Resistance Economy is a set of guidelines proposed by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for reducing dependence on oil export revenues, empowering domestic producers, diversifying non-oil exports and promoting local manufactures.
Tayyebnia explained the economic progress of the government, namely increase in GDP growth, lowering inflation rate to below 10% for the first time in more than two decades, stability in the foreign exchange market and promoting a stable economic environment.
By issuing securities and Islamic bonds, implementing the Banking Overhaul Plan and sending two banking reform bills to the parliament the government is moving on the path of repaying its debt to the banks and the private sector.
The Banking Overhaul Plan is seen as a milestone in implementing major reforms in the ailing and cumbersome banking sector.
Deputy governor of the central bank, Akbar Komijani who was also present at the meeting, briefed the IMF chief on the central bank’s plans to introduce the long-awaited single currency rate. Pointing to the CBI’s efforts to shift funding for most imports from the official (subsidized) forex rates toward the market rate, he echoed Tayyebnia’s recent remarks that the currency rates will be unified before the fiscal year is out in March 2017.
In a separate meeting Lagarde spoke with the economy ministers and central bank officials of countries in the MENA region and the director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department, Masood Ahmed.
In the meeting in addition to talks on the stagnant international economic growth, issues such as removing of banking restrictions and expanding correspondent relations were discussed.
World Bank Ties
The economy minister and his entourage also called on the World Bank’s interim managing director and chief operating officer and senior vice president of operations.
“We will accelerate the process of collaborating with Iran in order to move it to the implementation stage as soon as possible,” said Kyle Peters of the new framework of cooperation between the global lender and Iran.
Noting that Iran has a history of working in tandem with the World Bank, Tayyebnia stressed that the country wants to “employ all the potentials” in order to help launch structural economic reforms “within the framework of our own national policies.”