President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Deputy Managing Director at the IMF Tao Zhang. Global and Lithuanian economy prospects, development of the financial technology sector as well as the role of IMF was discussed at the meeting.
The global economy is slowing down and its main driving force – the international trade is worrying as rising geopolitical tensions, protectionism and uncertainty due to Brexit bears a negative impact on the world economy.
According to the President, international institutions forecast the recovery of economic growth as of next year, therefore, countries should continue to implement responsible fiscal policies as well as all the measures aimed at boosting competitiveness and economic growth.
The President believes that is relevant to Lithuania too since the forecasts predict the slow down of our economy which grew rapidly over the recent years. Lithuania should take the European Commission’s recommendations and opinions of the IMF experts who regularly visit our country into account. A high level of social exclusion, poor health of the population and a rather ineffective education system needs to be addressed.
Financial services sector changes due to technological innovation and the impact of these changes on economic efficiency, growth, and financial stability was also discussed at the meeting.
The financial technology sector is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of our economy. Over 170 businesses operate in the sector and the number continues to grow. Lithuania comes second after the UK in terms of the number of licensed electronic money institutions.
According to the President, considering the growing importance of Fintech and its development in the international arena, a greater role of the IMF in promoting cooperation and implementing effective monitoring of Fintech risks is welcome.
Last October, a joint IMF and World Bank document was issued setting out Fintech’s development recommendations. The President and Mr. Zhang agreed that Lithuania chose the path in accordance with the principles set out in the document.
Lithuania has been the member of the IMF since 1992.