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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following are edited excerpts from the closing press conference by Ahmed Macki, Chair of the Annual Meetings; Horst Köhler, IMF Managing Director; and James Wolfensohn, World Bank President, held on September 29. The full text of the press conference is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

Changyong Rhee and Katsiaryna Svirydzenka
The Asia-Pacific region was the first to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic; it put a strain on its people and economies, and policymaking became exceptionally difficult. This departmental paper contains the assessment of the key challenges facing Asia at this critical juncture and policy advice to the region both to address the current challenges and to build the foundations for a more sustainable and inclusive future. The paper focuses on (1) adjusting to the COVID-19 shock, (2) using unconventional policies when policy space is limited, (3) dealing with debt, and (4) helping the vulnerable and greening the recovery. The paper first presents the different ways countries are adjusting to the COVID-19 shock.
Ms. Sofiya Avramova and Vanessa Le Leslé
In this paper, we provide an overview of the concerns surrounding the variations in the calculation of risk-weighted assets (RWAs) across banks and jurisdictions and how this might undermine the Basel III capital adequacy framework. We discuss the key drivers behind the differences in these calculations, drawing upon a sample of systemically important banks from Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. We then discuss a range of policy options that could be explored to fix the actual and perceived problems with RWAs, and improve the use of risk-sensitive capital ratios.