Seychelles wraps up chairmanship of Small States Forum at IMF/World Bank Meetings and renews call for action

October 12, 2016

A delegation from Seychelles, led by the Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, Jean-Paul Adam was in Washington, attending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Bank Annual Meetings from the 7th to the 9th of October 2016. At the annual meetings Minister Adam and his delegation also engaged with partners to address concerns on access to climate finance and the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting.

The Minister was accompanied by Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Jennifer Sullivan, Comptroller General, Damien Thesee, as well as Brian Commettant and Elizabeth Agathine from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance respectively.

The meeting was opened by President of the World Bank Jim Yong-Kim, who reiterated the engagement of the World Bank in relation to better addressing the priorities and vulnerabilities of Small States.

The annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF bring together Governors of these institutions every autumn either in Washington or in a member state.

Minister Adam was chairing the Small States Forum of the World Bank Annual Meetings and called for renewed determination and solidarity for action on behalf of those most marginalized. Minister Adam emphasised that the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change required a new development architecture that addresses the gaps that exists in terms of development financing for Small States.

Seychelles has been chairing the forum for the last two years and have been working with the World Bank Secretariat on the implementation of seven (7) key priorities agreed in 2015.

During the annual meetings, the Minister also engaged with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the

World Bank regarding the ongoing economic reform programme. The Minister reiterated the commitment of the Government to the principles of sustaining a programme based on a robust fiscal surplus as well as ensuring inclusive development that recognises the priorities of the population. The Minister also used the opportunity to appraise the IMF and World Bank partners on local political developments and reaffirmed commitment to working in partnership with the newly elected National Assembly to pass a budget that reflected these priorities.

The seven priorities emphasised by Small States include ensuring access to finance on the basis of vulnerability, predictability of affordable financing, debt sustainability, simplification of access to climate finance, capacity building and technical assistance, support for diversification of Small States economies including through the development of the Blue Economy and support for Small States to access international capital markets in an affordable manner.

The Seychelles' proposal to develop a blue bond that will help finance sustainable development of the Blue Economy and finance affordable investment in fisheries has also continued to gain support and traction. The government is engaging with the World Bank and the GEF to be able to raise finance from international capital markets at reduced costs and bring additional resources to the table.

The World Bank published a new stock taking report at the Small States Forum which also better identifies the gaps in support that Small States may face.

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