Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan at IMF and World Bank Group Annual Meetings

Press release, 06.10.2016

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer as Head of the Swiss delegation and Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, will attend the joint Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., from 7 to 9 October 2016. Prior to these meetings, they will also represent Switzerland at the meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.

The IMF remains somewhat pessimistic in its half-yearly forecast of global economic growth of just over 3% for 2016. The most significant risks it identifies are the impact of Brexit, the incomplete adjustments in the EU banking system, the asynchronous monetary policy and the persistently high level of lending in China. Even in the medium term (2019-2021), the IMF expects modest growth of 1.5% on average in advanced economies, which is approximately 1% below the historical average. Against this backdrop, the central topic of discussion at the IMF annual meetings will be low potential growth due to weak investment, low productivity growth and unfavourable demographic changes. The size and structure of the global financial safety net will also be discussed.

From Switzerland's perspective, the reforms in the past few years have significantly strengthened the global financial and economic system. The implementation of a budget policy that is credible for the medium term is particularly important. The IMF must address this in its economic policy monitoring by underscoring the importance of effective budget rules. Switzerland supports the IMF's work on globalisation, which above all demonstrates the long-term significance of the free movement of capital and open markets for growth and development.

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer will also represent Switzerland in the World Bank Group. The discussions will focus on the role of the World Bank Group in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the question of how the bank should develop further and orient itself in the medium term. The central bank governors will also talk about the level of financial resources. The member countries increasingly expect the World Bank Group to commit itself even more to solving transnational and global problems (climate change, refugee crises and pandemics).

Furthermore, the question of the voting weights of the member countries in the World Bank will be discussed. Here, economic influence and financial contributions to the International Development Association (IDA) will serve as the main criteria for calculating the voting weights. Switzerland is committed to attaching great importance to the IDA components in determining the voting weights so as to create incentives for high IDA contributions.

In Washington, Switzerland will also sign three programmes amounting to CHF 16.5 million with the IMF to strengthen the mobilisation of domestic resources and to improve macroeconomic management in developing countries. These programmes are part of the SECO contribution for economic cooperation and development.

Address for enquiries:

Peter Minder, Head of FDF Communications
tel. +41 79 437 73 61, peter.minder@gs-efd.adfmin.ch

Daniel Birchmeier, Head of Multilateral Cooperation, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO
tel. +41 58 464 08 19, daniel.birchmeier@seco.admin.ch

Nicole Ruder, Head of the Global Institutions Division, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC
tel. +41 58 462 00 77, nicole.ruder@deza.admin.ch


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