With hopes rising that an uncertain global economic recovery may have gained traction in recent months, the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors will gather in Dubai on September 23 for the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Preceding this plenary session, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)—the IMF’s principal advisory body—will meet on September 21 to take up a wide-ranging agenda that is expected to examine the outlook for the global economy and world financial markets, especially what needs to be done to lend breadth and momentum to growth prospects and what further steps are needed to help identify and address potential vulnerabilities.
The IMFC session, which will be chaired by U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, will also likely review the IMF’s continuing efforts to strengthen surveillance of members’ economic policies, bolster crisis prevention and crisis resolution, and accelerate poverty reduction and enhance the prospects for sustained growth in low-income countries. In addition, the IMFC will examine progress reports on IMF quotas and governance, accelerated measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and the work of the Independent Evaluation Office.
The following day, the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee is scheduled to discuss the role of adequate and appropriate financing in supporting sound policies in developing countries and in helping them achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. Also likely to be taken up are possible steps to enhance the voice and participation of developing and transition countries in the Bretton Woods institutions.
As is customary, a number of other events and country group meetings will take place in advance of the plenary proceedings. On September 18, Kenneth Rogoff, the IMF’s Economic Counsellor and head of its Research Department, will brief the press on the economic projections contained in Chapter 1 of the September 2003World Economic Outlook. This briefing will be followed by press conferences on September 19 by World Bank President James Wolfensohn and IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler, and on September 20 by, among others, the chair of the Group of 24 developing countries, Fouad Siniora, Lebanon’s Minister of Finance.
In addition, the World Bank and the IMF are jointly sponsoring, on September 20-22, a seminar series on issues related to regional and global prosperity. The annual Per Jacobsson lecture on international finance, which was established to encourage a dialogue between the private sector and officials in national governments and international agencies, will this year examine “The Arab World: Performance, Challenges, and Prospects.” The address will be given on September 21 by Dr. Abdlatif Y. Al-Hamad, Director General and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.
Photo credits: Denio Zara, Padraic Hughes, Pedro Márquez, and Michael Spilotro for the IMF; and Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, pages 258-59.