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IMF Georgieva Lunar New Year Coronavirus

Release Date: 03 Feb 2020

China is facing economic challenges due to the outbreak of coronavirus, but International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva issued a statement of support Thursday.

IMF Executive Director for China Jin Zhongxia met Georgieva on the occasion of the Lunar New Year, but the two discussed the outbreak which has killed more than 300 people, led to emergency medical measures and travel restrictions and also rattling markets.

“I want to wish everyone from China and many other Asian countries who celebrate the Lunar New Year a very healthy and prosperous New Year. It is the Year of the Rat, which symbolizes strong vitality, agility and intelligence,” said Georgieva in prepared remarks.

“For China, the Year of the Rat has gotten off to a challenging start as the country is battling the coronavirus outbreak. On behalf of all the membership of the IMF, all staff and management I would like to express our deep sympathies to all those affected by the serious situation related to coronavirus,” she said.

“We support China's efforts to respond by taking measures with all the strength of its health system, but also by the recent fiscal, monetary and financial actions. We are confident in the resilience of China's economy,” she added.

Georgieva said last week that on the economic front the first impacts would be on travel and global supply chains.

The immediate impact is obvious. We have travel, tourism, manufacturing in China and a little bit beyond China may initially be impacted. China has taken very dramatic actions to restrict the spread of the virus and work is underway on a vaccine. So let’s say for this quarter there will very likely be a negative impact. What would happen beyond this quarter we must observe and assess,” she said Thursday at the Center for Global Development.

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