2nd Annual Regional Seminar of the Latin American Treasurers Held in Mexico City (March 16-18, 2011)
Posted by Israel Fainboim
An initiative launched by the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) of the IMF two years ago and supported by the Inter American Development Bank and the World Bank, to create a forum for the Latin American Treasurers to discuss treasury management issues on a regular basis, organize an annual seminar, and create a web page for exchanging ideas and materials, has been a success.
In April 2010 the Peruvian Treasury, under the direction of Mr. Carlos Diaz, did an excellent job in hosting the first seminar on treasury management. The 2010 seminar discussed cash planning, cash balance targeting, the adoption of a treasury single account (TSA), and the use of information systems for treasury and cash management. During that seminar the treasurers agreed to get organized, to propose an action plan, and to develop a web page. These and other objectives were included in a document signed by all of them, which was called the “Lima Declaration.”
This year, on March 16-18, the Mexican Treasury, headed by Mrs. Irene Espinosa Cantellano, set the bar even higher. The Mexican Treasury not only organized a technically demanding seminar, as in Peru, but it also did in a spectacular setting (the Palacio Nacional). The seminar discussed the following topics: active cash management, operational risk management and business continuity planning; the relationship between the Treasury, the Central Bank, and commercial banks; and the remuneration of transaction services (collection, payments) and of government balances at the TSA. The institutional arrangements for cash and debt management and the interactions between the Treasury and the Budget and Accounting Directorates were also discussed in panels. Copies of the presentations are attached. Both the Peruvian and Mexican seminars were highly active and open, looking for the direct participation of the treasurers in the different sessions, either as presenters, commentators or panelists.
During the Mexican seminar the treasurers signed the official document creating a permanent Forum, elected their first President (Mrs. Cantellano) and selected Colombia as the venue for the third seminar (and a Central American country was proposed to host the fourth seminar). In the official Forum document the three IFIs (IMF, IADB, WB) were included as permanent invitees, as a mechanism to guarantee the objective of channeling their collaboration and support of the forum activities.
The presentation in each seminar of the results of a survey of the regional treasuries was considered a very good practice; it is an opportunity to reflect the progress made in each country and informs all treasurers of reforms in other countries. Therefore, the treasurers agreed to continue this practice in an even stronger and more technical manner. Also, a work program for the year was proposed for discussion; it included some possible studies, training and workshops. Finally, the Mexican treasurer offered to maintain the web page within the Mexican Treasury web site, but ready to be separated as soon as the issue of its maintenance was sorted out. The three IFIs offered to continue supporting the Forum activities, as they have done it over the last two years.
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