Meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderón yesterday, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde praised the Mexican government for its “strong fiscal, financial and monetary policies,” which have contributed to the country’s development in spite of the global economic downturn. She also lauded Mexico’s “solid” financial institutions just one day ahead of Mexico assuming leadership of the G-20 for the next 12 months.
Mexico was the second stop on Lagarde’s three-day tour of Latin America—her first since taking office in July. Prior to her meeting with Calderón, Lagarde also met with Mexican Secretary of Finance and Public Credit José Antonio Meade and Agustín Carstens, the country’s central bank chief. On Monday, Lagarde met with Peru’s president, finance minister, and Central Reserve Bank president in Lima. She traveled to Brazil this morning, where she will also meet with top officials, including President Dilma Rousseff.
The international debt crisis has figured prominently in Lagarde’s discussions, with analysts predicting ahead of her trip that she would seek support to help contain the European debt crisis. In a press release issued yesterday, Lagarde said, “I am confident that under Mexico’s leadership the G-20 will be effectively contributing to the global agenda, including putting a stop to the debt crisis in Europe.” Regarding the IMF’s own role, Lagarde told reporters that, while ready to help resolve the euro debt crisis, the IMF would also “be attentive and spare resources…for those countries that are bystanders of the crisis.”
For its part, Mexico “will be more than willing to collaborate,” said Carstens, although Calderón also noted that he believed the euro zone has adequate tools to resolve its current crisis.