International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde told a summit Australia had shown “real leadership” in the turbulent global economy.
The respected French ex-finance minister told the Global Foundation summit in Melbourne via video link from Washington DC that the past five years have put financial stress on everyone and created a greater demand for expertise and innovative collaborative thinking on economics.
“The interconnectedness between us all has never been more obvious as during, and post the financial crisis,” Lagarde said.
The crisis had created long-term economic pessimism in many countries, many people now believe “it used to be better and it will never be the same”, she said.
Lagarde said Australia was critical in combatting this attitude with its dependably strong, practical, positive and progressive leadership.
“It’s an economy that is used to cycles, booms and busts, and throughout those cycles, the Australian enterprises, the Australian people, always remain positive and committed to improving the state of the Australian economy, and participating in improving the world as it is.”
The Global Foundation, an Australian-based non-government collective of private sector heavyweights, will continue its two-day summit today – the theme is Australia in the Asian Century.