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Chancellor meets with the heads of international organisations

Rejecting protectionism

Joint action is needed if we are to exit the crisis on the road to sustainable development. With the leaders of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO), Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected protectionist trends in individual states. This year’s annual meeting took the form of a video conference.

Chancellor Merkel gives a statement to the press following the video conference with representatives of international organisations. Economic promotion programmes are needed for economic recovery, declared Chancellor Angela  Merkel Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins

What were the key points on the agenda?

The meeting was overshadowed by the pandemic. Joint action is the right way to move towards sustainable development, said the Chancellor. Alongside the development of a vaccine as a global public good for all people, Angela Merkel cited three key points addressed during the meeting: maintaining supply chains, shaping economic recovery processes and the financing needs of developing countries.

Why is it so important to strengthen the international trading system?

The world economy is based on supply chains. Export restrictions, say in the food sector, lead to unemployment in weaker states, resulting in poverty and hunger.

How is the international community supporting the process of economic recovery?

Worldwide nine trillion US dollars have been pledged for support measures. The European Union alone accounts for two trillion. Now, additional economic revitalisation programmes are needed, said the Chancellor, in order to stabilise the recovery process. These measures are planned for the start of June for Germany. The Chancellor rejected calls for higher taxes.

What assistance do developing countries in particular need?

The international community must look at the financial needs of weaker states. Under no circumstances should development assistance be cut, declared Angela Merkel. It is, however, necessary to adapt projects to the imperative of fighting the pandemic. The "Compact with Africa" for which Germany was one of the initiators, is a promising way forward. The African side will also need to make its own efforts and demonstrate good governance, she added.

Who attended the meeting?

The meeting brought together the Chancellor, Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Kristalina Georgiewa, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), José Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group and Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

What is the role of the meeting at international level?

At the meeting, which has taken place once a year since 2007, the Chancellor and the heads of the five leading international economics and finance organisations address matters relating to growth, ways of tackling unemployment and poverty, and fundamental structural reforms.

What is the mandate of the OECD, IMF, World Bank and the others? Who represented them at the meeting with the Chancellor? Our glossary will provide the answers.

May 20, 2020