2010 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank

Bern, Press release, 07.10.2010

Federal Councillor Hans-Rudolf Merz as head of the Swiss delegation, State Secretary Jean-Pierre Gerber, SECO Director, and Philipp Hildebrand, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), will take part in the joint Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington D.C. from 8 to 9 October 2010. The most important topics of discussion in the International Monetary and Financial Committee will be the state of the global economy and the strengthening of the governance structure of the IMF. The focus of the discussions in the Development Committee will be the strategy of the World Bank, the current World Bank governance reforms and the progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

In the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), finance ministers and central bank governors will discuss the global economic outlook. The IMF anticipates a continued fragile global economic recovery with growth of no more than 4.5%. The stabilisation of the financial system has suffered setbacks because of the turmoil in numerous European countries. At the same time, the economic recovery in the US is weaker than was expected in the spring. The IMF expressed concern about the slow recovery up to now in the private sector, which is ultimately meant to supersede the national emergency measures as swiftly as possible. Once more, the IMF is calling on its member states to adopt a sustainable budget and debt management policy, together with a more consistent approach to reforms and adjustments in the financial sector.

In this context, the IMF mandate should continue to be strengthened by increased transnational monitoring and improved coverage of the financial sector. These measures will be supported by Switzerland.

The central topic of discussion in the IMFC will be the governance reforms. These mainly cover the review of the quota reforms, representation on the Executive Board, improved strategic management by the heads of the finance ministries and the central banks, and the procedure for selecting the IMF's top management.

The Development Committee (DC) of the World Bank will discuss the new long-term strategy of the World Bank. The World Bank Group provided targeted advice and financial support to the developing countries and emerging countries (in particular in Eastern Europe) during the financial and economic crisis. Now the World Bank wants to adapt the resources available in the post-crisis phase to the changing needs and a foreseeable reduction. In doing so, a core point of reference will continue to be the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Switzerland is in favour of clearly measuring the development results of the institution. In order to do justice to these goals, the Development Committee will also deal with internal reforms in the World Bank Group.

Address for enquiries:

Mario Tuor, Head of Communications, State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, tel. +41 31 322 46 16

Raymund Furrer, Head of the Division for Multilateral Cooperation, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), tel. +41 31 324 08 19

Olivier Chave, Head of Global Institutions Division, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, tel. +41 31 322 86 09.


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