Minister Virolainen to attend meetings of World Bank Group in Washington

NordenBladet — Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen will attend the spring meeting of the World Bank Group and a meeting of the joint Development Committee of the International Monetary Fund IMF and the World Bank in Washington D.C. on 20–21 April.

In addition to the official programme, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen will host a breakfast session focusing on women’s rights and economic development for the ministers attending the meeting of the World Bank Group.

“Women’s rights and economic development have way too long been discussed around different tables. Without a better realisation of women’s rights, the economies of developing countries will only operate at half capacity. Women must become fully involved,” Minister Virolainen says.

The breakfast session is part of the activities of the SheDecides movement. The movement, founded in 2017 on the Netherlands’ initiative, aims to improve the realisation of women’s rights related to sexual and reproductive health in developing countries.

During her visit to the United States, Minister Virolainen will also meet members of the senior management of the World Bank Group, for example Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank, and Philippe Le Houerou, Chief Executive Officer of the IFC, the sister organisation of the World Bank focusing on the private sector in developing countries.  At these meetings, Virolainen will emphasise Finland’s role as an expert in the field of education, strengthening of the private sector, and the well-functioning cooperation between Finland and the IFC in the foundation of the joint climate fund. Virolainen will also draw attention to questions related to women’s equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and migration.

Minister Virolainen will also have a meeting with Deputy United States Trade Representative Jeffrey D. Gerrish to discuss topical trade policy issues and development of the WTO.
Minister Virolainen will exchange views on the significance and future of the open and rules-based trade system and the global economic development at a roundtable discussion to be conducted with representatives of the leading think tanks in Washington D.C. Former United States Trade Representative Michal Froman will be among the participants in the discussion.
The main themes at the meeting of the joint Development Committee of the World Bank and the IMF are capital increases, voting rights reform and implementation of the futures review.

Capital increases are proposed for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development IBRD and for the International Finance Corporation IFC, both of them part of the World Bank Group.

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s biggest financiers of sustainable development. The International Development Association IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, is one of the most important channels for Finland’s development cooperation.

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