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April 18, 2019

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Committee concerned about trade

The Development Committee, a ministerial-level forum of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, said that global trade growth had weakened, while investment prospects had softened, urging countries to address these concerns.

In a communique issued on Saturday at the close of the institutions’ spring meetings in Washington, the committee said it reiterated the role of international trade and investment as engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and sustainable development.

“Debt vulnerabilities persist, and policy uncertainty is weighing on confidence,” the communique said. “We stress the importance of adopting growth-enhancing policies while containing risks and protecting the most vulnerable.”

The committee voiced its support for the World Bank and IMF multi-pronged approach, with borrowers and creditors, to improve the recording, monitoring, and reporting of public and private debt, as well as efforts to strengthen creditor coordination in debt restructuring situations, drawing on existing forums.

Balancing act

“We call on both institutions to work jointly with policymakers to identify the right balance, given country circumstances, between supporting demand and rebuilding fiscal space; to help countries improve debt management capacity, sustainability, and transparency; and to strengthen domestic resource mobilization,” the communique said.

The communique emphasized the key role of the private sector plays in providing sustainable solutions to development challenges, creating markets, mobilizing investment and generating jobs.

It called on all parties to work together in mobilizing private sector solutions and resources, leveraging sectoral reform, and mitigating investment risks.

The committee, which represents 189 countries, also underscored its support for the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

In a statement after the committee meeting, David Malpass, new president of the World Bank, stressed that the multilateral development institution’s mission was more urgent than ever.

“It is critically important that we work tirelessly to foster broad-based growth, raise median incomes, create jobs, and fully incorporate women and young people in economies, to support a stronger, more stable global economy for everyone,” Malpass said.


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