U.S.-China Economic Relations: Present and Future

By Richard H. Holton; Wang Xi et al. | Go to book overview

17. The PRC and International Economic Organizations

HONG JUN-YAN

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) are the keystone international economic organizations in the world. These three organizations have been playing an important role in coordinating and stabilizing the international trade and monetary systems and in providing loans to promote the development of the international economy since their establishment.

The IMF and the World Bank (formally named the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development--IBRD) were founded in December 1945. The IMF is mainly in charge of international monetary affairs. It promotes the stabilization of currencies and the expansion of trade by providing short-term credits to deal with the balance-of-payment difficulties of the member countries. The World Bank is responsible for economic reconstruction and development. It provides capital assistance to countries to promote economic growth and social welfare. These two organizations cooperate with each other. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the International Development Association (IDA) were founded in July 1956 and September 1960, respectively. The IFC provides credits and investment for private industrial and mining companies in the developing countries, while the IDA handles requests for soft loans to the developing countries to be repaid over a longer time interval. These two organizations are affiliates of the World Bank. The World Bank Group includes the IBRD, the IFC, and the IDA. The IMF and the World Bank are specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN).

The GATT was founded in October 1947 and came into effect on January 1, 1948. It is an international multilateral agreement among governments. It aims at reducing tariffs and other trade barriers and eliminating discrimination in international trade. The GATT is not a specialized agency of the UN, but it keeps in touch with the UN.

China is one of the original members of the IMF and the World Bank. Its

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