Press release 156/2013
Ministry of Finance
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Minister of Finance and World Bank Governor Jutta Urpilainen is set to travel to Washington to attend the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund IMF on 10–12 October 2013. Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala will also be attending the meetings on 9–11 October 2013.
The main item on the World Bank’s agenda is the adoption of the first World Bank Group strategy. The strategy has two principal objectives: to reduce extreme poverty to less than 3% of the world’s population by 2030, and to reduce inequality by fostering income growth of the poorest 40% of each country. Sustainable development is a cross-cutting objective.
Minister Urpilainen represents in 2013 the Nordic and Baltic constituency in the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee. The constituency welcomes and supports the World Bank Group’s main strategic objectives, which are closely in line with the shared priorities of the Nordic and Baltic countries. Finland is particularly keen to emphasise the importance of economic, social and environmental sustainability in every aspect of the World Bank Group’s operation.
As well as the Development Committee’s meeting proper, Minister Urpilainen will attend the IMF International Monetary and Financial Committee's meeting and the Nordic-Baltic IMF Constituency meeting. In the World Bank context Minister Urpilainen will contribute to high level discussions on youth unemployment and to the Ministerial Dialogue on Sustainable Development. Furthermore she will meet IMF and World Bank management, and Lael Brainard, the United States Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.
Minister Hautala will be taking part in two discussion forums: the openness of development cooperation organised by Finland and the World Bank Institute, and the role of technology and innovations in reducing extreme poverty. In connection with the annual meeting Finland will also be organising information sessions by the co-chairs of the UN Sustainable Development Financing Committee aimed at International financial institutions and stakeholder representatives. Furthermore Minister Hautala will be meeting senior management of the World Bank.
In 2012 around 122 million euros of Finnish multilateral development aid was channelled through the World Bank Group. Approximately half of this aid goes towards supporting programmes and projects in the poorest countries and in fragile states, including debt relief programmes for developing countries. In addition, aid is made available via various funds in particular for cooperation in the environmental sector, support for education and for promoting good governance in developing countries.
Before attending the World Bank and IMF annual meetings, Minister Urpilainen will be visiting Boston on 8-9 October to meet researchers from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her discussions with Nobel Prize Laureate Amartya Sen, Kenneth Rogoff and Daron Acemoglu will touch upon ethical market economy, social mobility and education, growth policy, fair tax policy, action against tax havens and the reform of the European welfare state.
Further information on the Minister of Finance’s itinerary: Senior Specialist Tuuli Juurikkala, tel. 358 40 -734 6926, Adviser to the Minister Kaisa Korhonen, tel. 358 50 590 7602 and Press Officer Satu Ryynänen, tel. 358 295 530476
Further information on the Minister for International Development’s itinerary: Counsellor Johanna Karanko, tel. 358 50 439 47 58, Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to Minister Hautala, tel. 358 40 522 9869 and Press Officer Pirjo-Liisa Heikkilä, tel. 358 50 5715 659