IMF and Austria Sign Agreement on the Extension of the Joint Vienna Institute

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Press Release No. 14/166
April 11, 2014

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Austrian Vice Chancellor and Minister of Finance Michael Spindelegger, and Austrian National Bank Governor Ewald Nowotny signed an addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding between the IMF and Austria on the continuation of the Joint Vienna Institute (JVI) in Washington DC today. The previous memorandum, signed in 2010, called for a review every four years. The IMF and the Austrian authorities have reviewed the MOU and concluded that it remains appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the JVI.

“This is an important moment for capacity building in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asian countries, as we cement our joint commitment to the region”, Ms. Lagarde noted at the signing ceremony. “The partnership between Austria and the IMF has allowed the JVI to respond flexibly and effectively to changing needs, new economic challenges, and developments at the frontier of economic analysis and capacity building.”

“Building on the vision of the JVI’s founders to help strengthen economic policies and institutions in former transition economies, much has been achieved since the founding of the JVI in 1992,” Vice Chancellor and Minister of Finance Spindelegger stressed. “Over 30,000 course participants in more than 1,100 courses and seminars since its inception, speak for themselves. Countries in the region have moved up the income ladder and many are now part of the European Union or part of other regional groupings”.

“With fast changes in the external environment, it is even more important than in the past to stay ahead of the training and capacity development curve and to engage in an ongoing dialogue with country authorities. Much of today’s work on capacity development is about “multi-way” communication and creating and sustaining networks. With its international partners, the JVI is well placed to continue to implement the vision of its founders”, Governor Nowotny stated.

The JVI has adapted to remain at the forefront of training, including by sharply increasing the number and scope of courses in response to the global financial crisis. To further strengthen its support to the region and to stay ahead of the teaching curve, the JVI will integrate online learning tools to complement face-to-face learning. It will also aim at aligning training with technical assistance to the benefit of its beneficiary countries.

The JVI is an independent international organization and is the oldest of a global network of regional training centers run by or in cooperation with the IMF. It provides training mostly to participants from (former) transition countries across Europe and Central Asia. A substantial part of the training is delivered jointly with one or more of its stakeholder organizations, which comprise the Austrian Authorities (the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Oesterreichische Nationalbank) and the IMF as Primary Members, and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as Contributing Members; the European Commission (EC) has observer status.

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