International Monetary Fund (IMF)




The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established as a UN Specialized Agency on 22 July 1944, after the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, or commonly referred to as Bretton Woods Conference, with its headquarters situated in Washington D.C., United States.


Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund stipulates the IMF’s role in supporting international financial cooperation and balanced growth of international trade, enhancing international exchange rate stability, supporting the setup of international payment systems, and providing financial assistance to member countries facing Balance of Payment problems.

Primary Roles


The IMF’s primary role is to provide economic surveillance as well as financial and technical assistance to member countries to ensure stability of the international monetary system. 


Economic Surveillance : The IMF closely monitors member countries’ economic and financial conditions and regularly holds the Article IV Consultation. The Article IV consultation typically takes place on an annual basis, whereby IMF staff will visit member countries to evaluate economic conditions and stability and provide policy recommendation. In this regard, the IMF will gather member countries’ economic data to assess regional and global economic conditions, which is published on a semi-annual basis in the World Economic Outlook (WEO) and Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR).  

บทบาท imf

Financial Assistance : The IMF provides financial assistance to member countries facing Balance of Payment problems to facilitate economic recovery and growth through various facilities. Member countries receiving assistance must abide by the policies or measures to resolve Balance of Payment problems as stipulated in the Letter of Intent. The IMF’s financial assistance is financed primarily from member countries’ quota payments. Therefore, IMF’s lending capacity is also constrained by total quotas. However, the IMF is permitted to borrow additional funds from a specific group of countries with strong financial positions under the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) and 2020 Borrowing Agreement (


In addition, the IMF has completed its general allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs)1/, worth US$650 billion in 2021 to help member countries to address the long-term global need for reserves.


Technical Assistance : The IMF provides technical assistance to member countries to enhance their capacity to set and implement policies in 4 key areas as follows: 1) Monetary and Financial Institutions Policies 2) Fiscal Policy and Public Debt Management 3) Data Statistics and 4) Economics and Finance Laws. Furthermore, the IMF holds trainings and seminars for member countries at the IMF’s training center in Washington D.C. and various other regional training centers (Australia, Brazil, People’s republic of China, India, Singapore, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirate). In Thailand, the IMF Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT) is located in the BOT.



1/ Special Drawing Rights (SDR) is an international reserve asset created by the IMF in 1969 to increase existing international reserves at the time to support growth in international trade and finance. Furthermore, SDR acts as the main accounting unit for the IMF, whereby its value is set against a basket of 5 major currencies (USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, and CNY).

Organizational Structure


The IMF’s Board of Governors comprising all Governors from member countries, holds a meeting once a year during the World Bank-IMF annual meeting to discuss and decide important IMF policies. Furthermore, there is also the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), which comprises 24 members in accordance with the IMF’s Executive Board structure. The IMFC acts as a consultant for the Board of Governors, which considers and provides various policy recommendations concerning regulation of the international monetary system.  


The IMF’s Executive Board and staff is responsible for the day-to-day business of the IMF, in accordance with the recommendations of the IMFC. Meanwhile, Managing Director acts as the CEO and top management. 


Membership: The number of the member countries in the IMF increased from 29 in 1945 to 190, with Andorra, being the newest member to join the IMF in October 2020. To apply for IMF membership, countries must first be a member of the United Nations. 


Quota: Upon joining the IMF membership, the country will be allocated quotas denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) in accordance with its respective economic size and importance relative to the global economy. Normally the IMF will review their quota once every 5 years to appropriately adjust each member’s quotas given changing economic situations, as well as increase the IMF’s lending capacity.   


Quotas play an important role in determining the members’ voting rights and access limits to IMF’s financial assistance. In particular, member countries will be allocated an equal amount of basic votes (250) and an additional vote per 100,000 SDR worth of quota. Furthermore, member countries may apply for IMF loans no more than 100% of quota annually and no more than 300% of quota cumulatively. 

Relationship with Thailand


Membership: On 3 May 1949, Thailand joined the IMF as its 44th member. The Bank of Thailand (BOT) represents Thailand in the IMF in accordance with the International Monetary Fund and Bank for International Settlements Operation Act 1951. The BOT’s Governor and Deputy Governor also act as a Governor and Alternate Governor of the IMF. Currently, Thailand’s quota is worth 3211.9 million SDR, or 0.67% of total outstand quota and is equivalent to 33,578 votes.     

Economic Surveillance: The IMF will assess the Thai economy on an annual basis under Article 4 of the IMF’s Article of Agreement. Furthermore, Thailand also abides by Article 8 of the IMF’s Article of Agreement by lifting capital and exchange rate control on trade since 4 May 1990. Most recently, Thailand participated in the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP)1/ in early 2019.

link to previous Article IV Staff Report for Thailand


Financial Assistance: Thailand received 5 financial assistances from the IMF under the  Stand-By Arrangement2/ (totaling 4,431 million SDR). The first was in July 1978 for 45.25 million SDR, the second in June 1981 for 814.5 million SDR (but actual withdrawal was for 345 million SDR), the third in November 1982 for 271.5 million SDR, the fourth in June 1985 for 400 million SDR (actual withdrawal was 260 million SDR), and the fifth in August 1997 for 2,900 million SDR (actual withdrawal was 2,500 million SDR) (additional information).


Thailand’s role in the IMF



1/ The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) is a joint program between the IMF and World Bank to promote financial system resilience for member countries. The FSAP assessment focuses on identifying strength and weaknesses in member countries’ financial systems to help prioritize reform agendas. 
2/ Stand-by arrangement is a loan facility for member countries facing short-term Balance of Payment problems, and a facility that most members participate in. Loan periods are between 12-24 months and repayment periods range from 3 ¼ - 5 years, with increasing interest rates depending on the loan amount. 


Did you know

Thailand paid back the entirety of the loan taken from the IMF in 2003, which was 2 years earlier than the agreed timeline. Currently Thailand has no outstanding debt with the IMF. 

Furthermore, Thailand also provides a credit line to the IMF through the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) with a limit of 680 million SDR (909 million Baht) and another 1.72 billion USD in funding in accordance with the Borrowing Agreement, should the primary source of IMF funding (quotas) face liquidity issues.

The IMF has a clear mandate and will only coordinate with central banks, with no retail transactions nor dealing with the general public directly. Oftentimes, criminals have falsely impersonated the IMF, particularly with regard to international transfers. 

Furthermore, information regarding the relationship between Thailand and the IMF can be found at More recent publications can be found in the BOT’s annual reports. 

Additional Information
International Financial Organization Team, International Department, Corporate Relations Group