Cyprus Finance Minister addresses World Bank and IMF General Assemblies
Nicosia, Sep 20 - Cyprus Minister of Finance Michalis Sarris said today that Cyprus has managed over the past three years to fulfill the Maastricht criteria and is preparing to adopt the Euro on 1 January 2008, noting the good performance of the economy in 2006, with growth rates of around 4%, inflation just over 2.5% and a public deficit of 2% GDP.
Speaking at the opening of the General Assemblies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), taking place in Singapore, Mr. Sarris also referred to the Cyprus problem, saying that a financially viable solution, which would reunite institutions and markets, is the key to long-term economic and political stability and growth.
Mr. Sarris is participating in the General Assemblies in his capacity of Governor of the World Bank for Cyprus, heading a delegation which includes Central Bank Governor Christodoulos Christodoulou, in his capacity as Governor of the IMF for Cyprus.
Referring to the high growth rates of the world economy and trade in 2006, despite the high oil prices, Sarris said there was now an increased danger of slowing down the world economy and to avoid this, the governments should implement economic reforms that will contribute to growth and help smooth out world imbalances.
Mr. Sarris also said that Cyprus has welcomed the strategy to review the representation in the IMF, which raise the voting rights of China and three other developing countries. There are hopes that by 2008 there will be more changes to enhance the representation of low income countries.
Regarding the international community policy to combat poverty and relieve poor countries from their debts, Mr. Sarris expressed support to the World Bank's efforts, noting the need for an increase in the contributions of developed countries.
Mr. Sarris stressed that Cyprus is an ardent supporter of the international campaign against money laundering and corruption, and against international terrorism, and supports the efforts of the World Bank and the IMF to combat such cases.