I would like to add my personal welcome to Ms Krueger, and to say
how much I appreciate her visiting Geneva to brief the General Council on
the IMF's new policy — the Trade Integration Mechanism.
Anne Krueger and Horst Köhler have exercised very important leadership in
shepherding this initiative from its conception this time last year through
to its recent approval by the IMF's Board of Executive Directors. I would
like to thank Anne for the role she has played, and ask her to pass on my
appreciation also to Horst Köhler.
The Trade Integration Mechanism is a welcome contribution to the Doha Round,
in particular to attaining ambitious market access results. The Mechanism
can help reassure low income developing countries that they will receive
assistance from the international community to help them deal with
adjustment difficulties they encounter from the loss of trade preferences
which will result from the lowering of MFN tariffs at the end of the Doha
Round. Concerns about the erosion of trade preferences is a more prominent
feature of the Doha Round than of previous trade Rounds. There are more low
income developing countries that are now Members of the WTO, and preference
schemes have increased in the past few years under various trade initiatives
that have been introduced by developed and developing country Members in
favour of low income countries. The Trade Integration Mechanism can start
making an important contribution already by helping to address these
concerns, even before any calls are placed through it on the use of IMF
resources. It is a valuable commitment from the international financial
community to support the deeper integration of low income countries into the
A welcome feature of the Mechanism is that it will be available for use by
WTO Members to deal with temporary adjustment difficulties that they
encounter next year as a result of the expiry of the ATC and the restoration
of more liberal trade in textiles and clothing.
The WTO Secretariat will cooperate closely with IMF staff to assist WTO
Members to evaluate the opportunities that the Trade Integration Mechanism
presents. We hope also to be able to contribute constructively to its
effective implementation by the IMF.