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President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as Head of the Swiss delegation, Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann and Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), will take part in the joint Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington from 20 to 21 April 2012.
The IMF is less pessimistic in its prognosis for global economic growth than it was half a year ago, but the risks continue to be considerable. The policy measures in the eurozone have made a significant contribution to easing tensions, but this relief will to a large extent have only a temporary impact. In addition, the interplay between the economic recovery and the necessary consolidation in public finances will remain a balancing act in many countries. Moreover, rising oil prices are a cause for concern, as is the flattened dynamic in the bigger emerging countries. It is for this reason that the breather taken by the industrialised nations must be used above all to implement the required structural reforms to secure a balanced and sustained recovery.
In order to support the stabilisation of the global economy and the situation in the financial markets in a sustainable manner, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the ministerial steering committee of the IMF, will discuss a temporary increase in IMF funding. Because stabilisation of the international finance system is of immense importance for the Swiss economy, the Federal Council is prepared, within the scope of a concerted action by important creditor countries, to make a substantial contribution to increasing the IMF's resources, subject to approval by parliament.
Other topics of discussion for the IMFC are the current reforms of IMF quotas and governance, as well as the strengthening of its economic policy surveillance instruments.
The Development Committee of the World Bank Group will discuss the role of the private sector as an instrument for economic development and the need for social safety nets. In addition, it will raise the issue of the significance of fluctuations in food prices for food security and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Finally, it will take stock of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the ongoing institutional modernisation of the World Bank Group.
A meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at ministerial level will also take place on the fringes of the Spring Meetings, during which the FATF mandate for 2012 to 2020 is to be adopted.Furthermore, the event will provide the opportunity for bilateral meetings.