Switzerland at IMF and World Bank 2020 virtual Spring Meetings and virtual G20 Finance Ministers Meeting

Bern, 16.04.2020 - Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, representing Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, and Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, will attend the virtual Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on 16 and 17 April 2020. The main focus of the Meetings, like the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in the run-up to them, is the global management of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

The IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) will address the economic policy challenges and the need for action by the IMF in dealing with the pandemic. Switzerland will emphasise the importance of swiftly granting Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) assistance in order to create budgetary leeway for urgent expenditure. To this end, it also supports a temporary and targeted expansion of IMF's crisis lending instruments. It will call for the IMF measures to focus in particular on a fast and sustainable exit from the crisis and the medium to longer-term sustainability of national budgets.

In the Development Committee, Switzerland will support the World Bank's package of measures to combat the COVID-19 crisis. Switzerland will call on the World Bank to provide focused, sustainable interventions that are implemented in close coordination with partner organisations. The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Convention should also serve as an international reference framework for global sustainable development during the management of the COVID-19 crisis. The World Bank has the capacity to provide developing countries with financial support of up to USD 160 billion over the next fifteen months.

Switzerland is also prepared in principle to support the initiative launched by the IMF and the World Bank to temporarily suspend debt service payments for poorer countries. This is intended to create fiscal space for severely affected poorer countries for urgent expenditure in the fight against COVID-19.

In the run-up to the Annual Meetings, Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan took part in a video conference of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors. The G20 presented its action plan to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, which includes the initiatives mentioned above. In the G20, Switzerland underlined the great importance of measures to ensure financial stability and emphasised that a financially viable solution and a credible longer-term outlook are needed to strengthen the confidence of markets and investors.

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