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

Bern, 08.04.2021 - Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, are attending the virtual Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) on 8 and 9 April 2021. The focus of the Annual Meetings, as well as the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, is on tackling the COVID-19 crisis globally and supporting poorer countries.

The IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) is addressing the economic policy challenges and the need for action by the IMF in overcoming the crisis. Switzerland is campaigning for the continuation of needs-based support measures in affected countries.  Structural reforms and credible budgetary policies create the prerequisites for a viable, sustainable economic recovery. In principle, Switzerland is prepared to support a consensus for a substantial allocation of IMF special drawing rights. This would give members, including the poorest, access to liquidity, while ensuring transparency and accountability regarding the use of funds.

In the Development Committee, Switzerland welcomes the measures taken by the World Bank Group to address the COVID-19 crisis, as well as its comprehensive approach to ensure a green, resilient and inclusive economic recovery. The WBG should promote climate-friendly investments with the involvement of the private sector. Likewise, it should support the creation of decent local jobs, the strengthening of education and healthcare systems, and social protection. The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement are international reference frameworks. Switzerland supports the WBG's measures for the procurement and distribution of vaccines in developing countries. Close coordination with partner organisations, strict environmental, social and governance standards, and strict anti-corruption measures will be required.

Switzerland has been emphasising the need for effective steps to ensure debt sustainability. It supports the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). At the same time, it has been stressing that credible and sustainable economic policies are vital for stabilisation and recovery. The high level of debt in poorer countries requires consistent implementation and expansion of the "Common Framework" for case-by-case debt restructuring and corresponding work by the IMF.

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan took part in the meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors on 7 April. The G20 addressed financial market issues and updated its action plan to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, and impetus was provided for the engagement of the IMF and World Bank. With regard to taxing the digital economy, Switzerland generally welcomed the fact that the OECD is continuing to work on a multilateral solution on behalf of the G20, and the country remains committed to simple, clear and moderate solutions.

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