Collaborating with others
Highlights of this section:
- Working with the World Bank
- Cooperating on financial stability, banking supervision, and trade
- Collaborating with the UN
- Working closely with the G-20
- Working on employment issues
- Engaging with think tanks, civil society, and the media
The IMF collaborates with the World Bank, regional development banks, the World Trade Organization (WTO), UN agencies, and other international bodies. While all of these organizations are involved in global economic issues, each has its own unique areas of responsibility and specialization. The IMF also works closely with the Group of Twenty (G-20) industrialized and emerging market economies and interacts with think tanks, civil society, and the media on a daily basis.
The IMF and the World Bank are different, but complement each other's work. While the IMF's focus is chiefly on macroeconomic and financial sector issues, the World Bank is concerned mainly with longer-term development and poverty reduction. Its loans finance infrastructure projects, the reform of particular sectors of the economy, and broader structural reforms. IMF loans assist countries in continuing to pay for imports, stabilizing their currencies, and restoring conditions for strong economic growth. Countries must join the IMF to be eligible for World Bank membership.
Given the World Bank's focus on antipoverty issues, the IMF collaborates closely with the Bank in the area of poverty reduction. Other areas of collaboration include assessments of member countries' financial sectors, development of standards and codes, and improvement of the quality, availability, and coverage of data on external debt.
The IMF is a member of the Switzerland-based Financial Stability Board, which brings together government officials responsible for financial stability in the major international financial centers, international regulatory and supervisory bodies, committees of central bank experts, and international financial institutions. It also works with standard-setting bodies such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.
The IMF has observer status at formal meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The IMF's determination of a country's balance of payments situation plays a considerable part in the WTO's assessment of trade restrictions applied in the event of balances of payments difficulties. The IMF is also involved in the WTO-led Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries, and IMF staff contribute to the work of the WTO Working Group on Trade, Debt, and Finance.
The IMF has a Special Representative to the United Nations, located at the UN Headquarters in New York. Collaboration between the IMF and the UN covers several areas of mutual interest, including cooperation on tax issues and statistical services of the two organizations, as well as reciprocal attendance and participation at regular meetings and specific conferences and events. In recent years, the IMF has worked with the International Labor Office on issues related to employment, as well as social protection floors; the UN Children's Fund on fiscal issues and social policy; the UN Environment Program on the green economy; and the World Food Program on social safety nets and early assessments of vulnerability.
Increasingly, the IMF has been working with the Group of Twenty (G-20) industrialized and emerging market economies. During the global financial crisis, collective action by the G-20 was critical for avoiding even greater economic difficulties, and in subsequent meetings the G-20 leaders have continued to reaffirm their commitment to reinvigorate economic growth. The IMF provides analysis on global economic conditions and on how G-20 members' policies fit together—and whether, collectively, they can achieve the Group's goals.
The IMF's mandate includes contributing to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real incomes through the expansion and balanced growth of international trade. Given the importance of employment for sustainable and inclusive growth, IMF-supported programs often contain recommendations pertaining to the labor market. That said, labor market policies are not a core area of IMF expertise. For this reason, the Fund works with other international, regional, and local organizations in this important area. We have an active partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO), with whom we have been pooling expertise to better understand the impact of macroeconomic policies on job creation.
The IMF also liaises regularly with the International Trade Union Confederation, and its affiliates. Finally, IMF missions to member countries meet regularly with trade union representatives to gain a better understanding of and exchange views on national labor market dynamics.
The IMF also engages on a regular basis with the academic community, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the media.
IMF staff at all levels frequently meet with members of the academic community to exchange ideas and receive new input. The IMF also has an active outreach program involving CSOs.
IMF management and senior staff communicate with the media on a daily basis. Additionally, a biweekly press briefing is held at the IMF headquarters, during which a spokesperson takes live questions from journalists.