Swiss prepare for key financial meetings

Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz will lead the Swiss delegation attending this week's spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group.

This content was published on April 22, 2009 - 12:18

Economics Minister Doris Leuthard and the president of the Swiss National Bank, Jean-Pierre Roth, will also travel to Washington for the talks, which will focus on the response to the financial crisis and the global downturn.

In meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, finance ministers and central bank heads are due to examine the global economic outlook.

The IMF anticipates a shrinkage of global economic activity this year in and only a slight recovery in 2010 in what is the most severe downturn since the 1930s.

The Development Committee is set to discuss the impact of the crisis on poor countries and the role of international financial institutions in mitigating the effects of the downturn.

Switzerland will tell the IMF it will provide a short-term credit line of up to $10 billion (SFr11.7 billion), subject to parliamentary approval.

A Swiss finance ministry statement on Wednesday said Switzerland broadly supported the "significant and targeted commitment" of the World Bank in combating the crisis and the more flexible use of resources.

But it emphasised that increased resources and rapid action should not be to the detriment of quality.


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