International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva Wednesday told Argentine President Alberto Fernández during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, that it was very important that his country stayed on course as it has done so successfully during the past few months.
We had a very good and constructive conversation on the issue of the impact of the Ukrainian war on the global economy and also Argentina, highlighting the importance for Argentina to continue with the goal of lowering inflation, improving the performance of its economy, and doing it in a way that takes into account the need of the Argentine population, especially the most vulnerable segments, Georgieva said.
She also recalled that the second review has been successfully concluded in a short period due to the discipline that [Economy, Agriculture, and Industry] Minister [Sergio] Massa and his team have shown.
Fernández was escorted by Massa, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, and Argentina's Ambassador to the United States Jorge Argüello.
In addition to Georgieva, the IMF was represented at the meeting by Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department Gita Gopinath; Deputy Managing Director Kristina Kostial; Finance Director Christian Mumssen; and Krishna Srinivasan, Director of the Asia and Pacific Department.
Fernández and Georgieva last met in September in New York City at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
This time around, the cost of the war in Ukraine topped the agenda. It was agreed that at the IMF board meeting to be held in December, the surcharges paid by indebted countries will be raised. But now there will be an additional factor: Among the countries paying these surcharges is Ukraine, which the IMF claims to be defending.
The meeting between Fernández and Georgieva was to be held at the Kempinski Hotel, but the latter chose to visit Fernández at the Meliá Hotel to spare him the ride in light of his health issue Tuesday.
It went well with Kristalina, very well, Fernández said. We talked about understanding the context in which we are, different from the one in which we made the program, which is a sort of budget. It is a scenario that one builds ideally and that is fulfilling objectives. The scenario has changed, but we do not intend to substantially alter the program with the Fund because we believe in the need to put Argentina and the economy in fiscal order. That is not the purpose, he added.
The Argentine President said Georgieva understands the negative way in which the war between Russia and Ukraine affects the economies of the world.
Argentina is making a huge effort meeting objectives. We have to solve the inflationary and income distribution problems, the two deficits we have, but the economy has not come to a standstill or gone backward; it continues to grow. We have to make it possible to comply with [the agreement], but with this logic of creating jobs, continuing to obtain investment and for the economy to grow, he also pointed out.
Fernández also admitted that a greater decrease in inflation was still pending, after the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec) Tuesday announced the CPI for October had gone up 6.3%.
After all other G20 events were canceled due to the ongoing events in Poland, Fernández boarded his presidential aircraft back to Buenos Aires via Madrid.
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