The Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA) concluded its Governors’ Meetings on 13 September 2006 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). The CEMLA event consisted of four meetings, namely (1) the 42nd Meeting of IMF/IBRD Governors of Latin America, Spain and the Philippines (2) 82nd Meeting of Central Bank Governors of Latin America and Spain, (3) CEMLA Board of Governors and (4) CEMLA Assembly, and was attended by 46 central bank governors and finance officials from Latin America, Spain and the Philippines as well as heads of regional financial institutions. Mr. Kurt Burneo, Acting President of Banco Central de Reserva del Peru came all the way from Peru to pass on the Chairmanship of the Meetings to Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The Banco Central de Reserva del Peru chaired the Meetings of Central Bank Governors of the American Continent and Spain which were held last May in Lima, Peru. During the September 13 gathering, Governor Tetangco chaired the first two meetings, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas being the current host to the CEMLA Annual Meetings. Meanwhile, the third and fourth meetings were presided over by Governor Martin P. Redrado of the Banco Central de la Republica Argentina in his current capacity as Chairman of the CEMLA Board of Governors.
The meeting of IMF/IBRD Governors of Latin America, Spain and the Philippines was highlighted by presentations from the Bretton Woods institutions which tackled matters of common interest to CEMLA members. The issue of clean energy and its relation to global development was presented by Dr. Jaime Quijandria, Executive Director representing Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay at the World Bank. Dr. Quijandria highlighted the need to pursue the proper balance between meeting the energy needs essential for economic growth and poverty reduction while preserving the global environment. He also discussed the Bank’s two-track approach to develop an investment framework that would support the Bank’s projects in this area.
The role of middle-income countries in the global economy was recognized in the second presentation of the first meeting. In particular, the focus was on their emergence as key players in the global community and the risks they face in the global financial markets. The presentation of Dr. Otaviano Canuto, Executive Director representing Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, the Philippines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago at the World Bank, addressed the on-going debate on the Bank’s role in promoting the development of middle-income countries. Dr. Canuto also outlined the initiatives of the Bank towards strengthening these middle-income economies while being responsive to their changing needs.
Dr. Jong Nam Oh, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), presented the experience of Korea and the IMF over the past 50 years. Dr. Oh’s presentation underscored the partnership between the IMF and Korea, given the latter’s changing needs as it progressed from an impoverished agrarian economy to become an industrialized country today. Dr. Oh also included in his presentation key issues pertaining to IMF quota and voice.
The meeting of Central Bank Governors of Latin America and Spain provided valuable insights to emerging critical issues such as global imbalances, and the direction of interest rates and oil prices that would affect developing economies. There were three presentations during the meeting on world economic and financial developments from the perspectives of the Asian, European and Latin American regions. The presenters namely: Mr. Diwa C. Guinigundo, Deputy Governor for Monetary Stabilty Sector, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Dr. Jose Viñals, Deputy Governor, Banco de España; and Dr. Martin P. Redrado, President, Banco Central de la República Argentina outlined the developments, risks and challenges that nations in Asia, Europe and Latin America have to deal with as they strive to achieve economic stability and growth.
The next CEMLA Governors’ meetings will be held in Uruguay in May 2007.