This past weekend, the annual conference of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund was held in Washington.  The Israeli delegation, led by Bank of Israel Governor Dr. Karnit Flug and Ministry of Finance Director General Shai Babad, participated in the main events at the conference, and held many meetings with policy makers in the global economy and with international financial entities from the business sector.  One of the sessions at the conference was chaired by Ministry of Finance Director General Shai Babad.  The session dealt with Israel’s success in creating a start-up environment that support economic growth, and the attempt to create an ecosystem of innovation and technology in advanced economies.


The delegation also included Bank of Israel Deputy Governor Dr. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber, Market Operations Department Director Andrew Abir, Ministry of Finance Chief Economist Yoel Naveh, Accountant General Roni Hizkiyahu, and other senior officials from the Bank of Israel and the Ministry of Finance.


The delegation held joint meetings with Mr. Anthony De Lanoy, who heads the IMF country group in which Israel is a member, with IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld, and with Mr. Craig Beaumont, who heads the team that will visit Israel and prepare the IMF’s Article IV annual report on Israel.


The Bank of Israel’s delegation also met with governors and senior central bankers from Sweden, Switzerland and the US, and with delegations from some of the most important commercial banks in the world.


Ministry of Finance Director General Shai Babad said that, “The World Bank’s annual conference provides a comprehensive review of the global economy and the challenges it faces.  At the same time, the conference makes it possible to hold meetings with colleagues from various countries and to discuss with them various ways to deal with issues and possible cooperative efforts.”


Bank of Israel Governor Dr. Karnit Flug said that, “In the meetings that we held, there was a sense of cautious optimism in terms of the current and expected developments in the global economy in the coming years.  The IMF raised its global growth forecast for the coming years, and emphasized the importance of world trade as a growth engine for economic activity.  The IMF calls on policy makers in the various countries to take advantage of the improved economic environment in most countries to carry out structural reforms and to advance forward-looking policy measures that will provide a response to long-term problems with which the various economies are coping.  This call joins the message contained in the Bank of Israel annual reports of recent years.  Various central banks are dealing with challenges similar to those being faced by the Bank of Israel, and their representatives shared knowledge and experience with us from their own countries on various topics, while expressing tremendous interest in how the Bank of Israel manages policy.  In the cyber field, the World Bank presented the regulations designed by the Banking Supervision Department as an example of how regulators are dealing with cyber challenges.”​