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V. Vasiliauskas in Washington: Protectionist policy may turn serious threat to global economic development

April 21, 2017

Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, will meet with Nigel Andrew Chalk, IMF Mission Chief for the USA, in Washington today to discuss protectionist proposals heard in the public domain and their potential negative implications for small open economies. 

‘Rule-based free trade is beneficial for the global economy, especially for such small countries as Lithuania, whose economy is small and open. We therefore understand better than anyone else and fully agree with the concerns spoken out by the IMF that protectionist measures, should countries start applying them in reality, would seriously jeopardise global economic development,’ said Vasiliauskas. According to him, the IMF, as the world’s largest financial organisation, in expressing a well-grounded principle position on this matter, could help reduce the populist attractiveness of protectionist policy. 

International trade and it becoming freer increase remuneration levels, allow consumers to have a larger diversity of goods and services at a lower price, as well as lead to higher productivity and the country's competitiveness. Nevertheless, higher competition adversely affects less productive firms. Therefore, the Governor of the Bank of Lithuania, who at IMF meetings participates in discussions on global economic development, supports proposals for countries to search for measures to ensure possibilities for employees to acquire adequate qualifications in a changing environment.  

The Governor of the central bank of the Republic of Lithuania is a Member of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund and goes to IMF meetings on a semi-annual basis, where heads of the central banks and Finance Ministers of a number of countries discuss topical issues of the global economy and search for solutions. During the present visit in Washington, Vasiliauskas attends meetings of the IMF International Monetary and Financial Committee, the Nordic-Baltic constituency, and the consultancy group G30. His meetings with Poul M. Thomsen, Director of the IMF’s European Department, IMF Mission Chiefs for Belarus and the euro area, the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine are also planned.