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Switzerland at IMF and World Bank 2017 Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C.

Bern, 20.04.2017 – Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer as Head of the Swiss delegation, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann and Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, will take part in the joint Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., from 21 to 23 April 2017. Prior to these meetings, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer will represent Switzerland at the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors.

In its latest forecasts for 2017, the IMF is reckoning with a global economic growth of approximately 3.5%. The slightly higher forecast is due primarily to the higher projected growth rates for advanced economies. However, the brighter economic outlook and the current financial market optimism are also subject to risks according to the IMF: these include protectionist tendencies, an abrupt reversal of cash flows, a softening of financial market regulation and weaknesses in the financial system. In addition, there are non-economic risks and particularly geopolitical ones.

Represented by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, Switzerland will support the IMF’s calls for structural reforms designed to secure economic growth and make it more broadly based. In this respect, it is important to involve the people in important economic policy decisions. The reforms need to include efforts to improve public finance management.

At the international level, Switzerland is committed to cooperation. In the process, it also works to ensure that the agreed measures to boost financial stability are not jeopardised. The finance ministers and central bank governors will additionally discuss the issue of the size and structure of the global financial safety net to prevent and respond to future crises.

The key topics up for discussion by the World Bank Group include the strategic orientation of the World Bank within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, governance issues and a possible capital increase. Switzerland will urge the World Bank Group to gear its activities towards its core areas of expertise and to focus on its strategic priorities. Moreover, it will encourage the World Bank to examine options other than a possible capital increase to improve its financial capacity.

In Washington, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann will sign two bilateral programmes and a global programme with the World Bank Group. The programmes are designed to better integrate developing economies in world trade (trade facilitation), boost public finance reform processes (PEFA – Public Expenditure Financial Accountability Tool) and improve the fiscal policy framework in Indonesia.

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