On 12-14 October 2018, the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Gent Sejko, attended the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WB), which took place in Bali, Indonesia.
These meetings represent a high-level forum where they gather to discuss together on the latest developments in the world economy, the highest IMF and WB decision makers, together with the governors and finance ministers of the member states of these international financial institutions.
The IMF Monetary and Financial Committee press release notes that global expansion remains strong. The economic growth is projected to be stable in the medium term and moderate later. However, economic recovery increasingly becomes more uneven, while some of the previously identified risks materialize. In general, the risks are increasingly pointing down, in the context of intensified trade tensions, persistent geopolitical concerns, and tighter financial conditions, affecting in particular many emerging markets and developed economies. Political insecurity, high historical debt levels, growing financial margins, and limited policy space can undermine confidence and the future of economic growth.
In these meetings, Albania was represented through a joint delegation, headed by Governor Sejko, and with high representative composition of the Bank of Albania and the Ministry of Finance and Economy
During the meeting, Governor Sejko held several important meetings with renowned international personalities, including: from the IMF, Tao Zhang, Deputy General Manager, Mr. Alessandro Leipold, Executive Director for Albania; z. Poul Thomsen, Director of the European Department, and from the WB group with: Cyril Muller, World Bank Vice-President for the European and Central Asia Region, Linda Van Gelder, Vienna’s Regional Director for the Western Balkans, Wiebke Schloemer, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia in the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as senior representatives of Deutsche Bank and many other international financial institutions.
During these meetings, Governor Sejko made an expose of the Albanian economic and financial situation. The Governor emphasized that the country’s economic activity continued to improve and expressed the Bank of Albania’s commitment to supporting and further developing the economy.
Following, the Governor presented the measures undertaken by the Bank of Albania as easing monetary policy, coupled with macro-prudential stimulus policies, in order to accelerate economic activity and maintain the country’s financial stability. He stressed that the Bank of Albania remains ready to provide all the support through the continuation of the monetary stimulus, with the aim of promoting economic activity and returning inflation to the target.
Regarding the banking system, the Governor said that he appeared with good financial, well-capitalized and liquid indicators. The further decline of the non-performing loans indicator at 12.9%, the lowest in recent years, is a very positive sign that opens the way for the banking system’s presence and contribution to the economy to grow and to further stimulate a healthy lending.
Further on, Governor Sejko stressed that the banking system is currently under a consolidation process and provided the IMF and WB representatives with the Bank of Albania, in full compliance with its legal mandate, to strictly and strictly exercise the role of its regulator and supervisor, ensuring that new market players fully comply with established regulatory and legal requirements, while maintaining the country’s financial stability intact.
For their part, IMF and WB representatives positively assessed the role and the policy pursued by the Bank of Albania, which has contributed to the development and macroeconomic stability of the country. In particular, maintaining an accommodating monetary policy course, in line with the fiscal consolidation, foreign exchange interventions in order to maintain the inflation target and the ongoing care in terms of maintaining financial stability were termed actions very necessary and appropriate, undertaken by the Bank of Albania.
In the following, they underlined that the Albanian economy has continued to move on a positive trajectory, while tackling the main challenges it faces is very important and remains a priority, continuing work on further improving the business climate , the promotion of domestic and foreign investment, and the increase of efficiency and expansion of economic potential.
During the discussions, the participants stated that Albania has shown that it is oriented towards normalization and increasing confidence, and is taking the necessary measures that affect the strengthening of economic sustainability.
At this point, the downward trend in the ratio of non-performing loans is one of the most significant indicators – they stressed – and yet, in parallel with the continuation of the work towards boosting economic activity, it is also very important that the country and institutions be well-prepared and react in the right timing and manner, in case of any shock from external or internal factors.
During the meetings, Governor Sejko expressed gratitude to IMF and WB representatives for the continued support and assistance to the Bank of Albania and other institutions in the country.
The delegation also held meetings with counterparts from different countries, where it had the opportunity to discuss the further development of bilateral relations.
In the framework of these meetings, Governor Sejko attended the meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF, as well as in the works of the G30 seminar. He also participated in joint meetings of ministers and governors of member states of some IMF consistency.
News Source: BoA