PM Timothy Harris boycotts IMF/World Bank meetings for third consecutive year

Basseterre, St Kitts, October 17, 2019 – Although he promised that he would attend the 2019 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank in October, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, has boycotted the October 14th to 20th event in Washington, DC.
“They have sent me and invite me to a meeting happening there in October to come to be part of a forum,” Dr Harris told SKNNewsLine, Glen Bart at his October 3 press conference.
But all this week, Prime Minister Harris has remained in Basseterre and has boycotted the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Dr Harris also boycotted the IMF/World Bank meetings in 2017 and 2018.
The IMF/World Bank meetings bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, parliamentarians, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness. Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial system.
Dr Harris, who has blocked the IMF from publishing the 2018 Article IV Consultation on the St Kitts and Nevis economy and has barred the IMF Mission from undertaking a similar exercise on the economy told a Town Hall meeting in Miami on September 30,  told nationals that there was no need to get financial and economic advice from the IMF officials because he has been to four universities in Canada, has read the same books as the IMF officials and recent advice given to him is unacceptable.
“We are a sensible people. The same schools they went to, we went to. I went to four schools, four universities in Canada. The same books they read, I read them too. The same books the IMF people had, are the same books we read up. What report the IMF have when we ain’t know them. What IMF report they got. The IMF is an institution and all it can do is to give you advice, but like every advice, whether from a lawyer or a doctor, you must be sufficiently informed to make a judgment whether that advice is the best advice for you. So when IMF gives an advice, you have to have common sense to say, we going work with that or that will not work here. Maybe it will work in Argentina,” Harris told nationals at the Holy Family Episcopal Church, Miami Gardens, Florida on September 30.
An IMF Team led by Mission Head, Dr Arnold McIntyre visited St Kitts and Nevis late June/early July 2018 and presented their report to the IMF Executive Board in Washington, DC.
“The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the consideration of the Article IV consultation with St. Kitts and Nevis. Under Article IV of the agreement, the IMF has a mandate to exercise surveillance over the economic, financial and exchange rate policies of its members in order to ensure the effective operation of the international monetary system. The IMF’s appraisal of such policies involves a comprehensive analysis of the general economic situation and policy strategy of each member country. IMF economists visit the member country, usually once a year, to collect and analyze data and hold discussions with government and central bank officials. Upon its return, the staff submits a report to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion. The Board’s views are subsequently summarized and transmitted to the country authorities. The authorities have not consented to publication of the staff report and the related press release,” the IMF said in a statement dated September 4, 2018.

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