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Montevideo, December 8th 2022 - 06:49 UTC



IMF, Treasury Plan Latin American Visits

Thursday, December 5th 2002 - 20:00 UTC
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Horst Koehler, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and Kenneth Dam, a top economics official in the Bush administration, will make separate fact-finding missions to Latin America starting later this week.

The administration said Wednesday that Dam, deputy Treasury secretary, will start a weeklong trip to Latin America on Saturday with stops in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

The IMF announced that Koehler will travel to Brazil, Colombia and Chile for discussions with the presidents of those three nations on economic matters.

Koehler's first stop will be Brasilia on Friday. While in Brazil, he will meet with out-going President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The IMF last month dispatched an economic team to Brazil to discuss the next instalment of a $30 billion IMF loan that the agency approved this summer in an effort to insulate South America's largest economy from economic turmoil in neighboring Argentina.

In contrast to the sharp differences over economic policy that have prolonged negotiations between the IMF and Argentina over new loans for that country, the international lending agency has praised Brazil's economic policies and the country's efforts to stay current on its foreign debt obligations.

Last year, Argentina defaulted on the bulk its $141 billion foreign debt burden, plunging that country into the worst economic crisis in its history.

In a statement, the U.S. Treasury said that Dam, during his travels, would meet with senior government officials in each country as well as private sector experts in such areas as politics and finance.

The Treasury statement said that Dam will focus on "development efforts ? such as investing in people through education and water projects, regional stability, capital market development and our continued cooperation on law enforcement and money laundering."

In will be the second visit to Latin America for both Koehler and Dam. Last month, Dam travelled to Brazil for meetings as part of a World Economic Forum summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Categories: Mercosur.

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