2020 Annual Meetings: October 15 Briefing


AM English

Dear Colleague,

Welcome to the penultimate briefing on the 2020 Annual Meetings. Today we spotlight the plenary speeches by the IMF's Kristalina Georgieva and the World Bank Group's David Malpass, the IMF’s New Center for the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia, Analytical Corners on ensuring a fairer recovery, a CNBC debate on the global economy, and much more. On that note, let's get started.

📣 We're almost at the end of the week and would love to hear your feedback on this special daily briefing and the Virtual Annual Meetings more generally. Do you find these round-ups useful? What was your favorite session so far? What should we do more (or less) of? We're very much looking forward to hearing from you. Write us directly here.

Today's featured media partner is Yicai, one of China's largest and most influential financial media companies, providing the latest insights on the global economy against the backdrop of the economic recession, international politics, and the impact of COVID-19.


5:30 AM EDT: Annual Meetings Plenary Speeches

Chaired by Dr. Ernest Kwamina Addison, Governor of Bank of Ghana, this event will feature keynote addresses from Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF, and David Malpass, President, World Bank Group.


8:00 AM EDT: Capacity Development Talk: Introducing the IMF’s New Center for the Caucasus, Central Asia and Mongolia

The launch of this new capacity development center will feature a discussion with Ilkhom Norkulov, Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, Uzbekistan; Jihad Azour, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF; Artak Harutyunyan, Statistics Department, IMF; Paul Inderbinen, Executive Director, IMF; and Padamja Khandelwal, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF.

10:45 AM EDT: Press Briefing - IMFC

Moderated by Gerry Rice, Director, Communications Department, IMF, this press briefing will feature Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF, and Lesetja Kganyago, Chairman for the International Monetary Fund and Financial Committee (IMFC).

11:00 AM EDT: Analytical Corner: A Fairer Recovery

Session 1: Government Support to Firms During COVID-19: Benefits, Costs, and Risks
Session 2: Social Spending for Inclusive Growth in the Middle East and Central Asia
Session 3: "Flattening the Curve" of Insolvencies in the Time of COVID-19
Session 4: Procurement and Beneficial Ownership Transparency: A Pandemic-Driven New Take on Public Access

12:00 PM EDT: CNBC Debate on the Global Economy

The world economy has been hit by the biggest shock in the postwar era. Governments have responded with unprecedented measures to protect lives and livelihoods. Are we out of the woods yet? Moderated by Geoff Cutmore, Anchor, CNBC, this televised debate will feature Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF; Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank; Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Finance Minister, Indonesia; and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Board Chair at GAVI / AU Special Envoy on response to COVID-19. Interested in some background reading? Check out our recommended reading list here (PDF).



8:00 AM EDT: CD Talk: Supporting Revenue Administrations to Operate Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the pandemic disrupting revenue administration operations, as well as those of businesses and industry, and reducing much needed revenue flows, the IMF has been responding to urgent country requests to assist with developing business continuity plans. Country representatives from Guatemala and the Maldives will explain how these plans are helping their tax and customs administrations to manage through the changing COVID-19 environment, ensure continued operations, safeguard revenue collections, and thus finance and implement their government responses to the crisis.

Speakers include Werner Ovalle, Director of Customs, Superintendence of Tax Administration of Guatemala; Fathuhulla Jameel, Commissioner General of Taxation, Maldives Inland Revenue Authority; Susan Betts, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF; and Azael Perez, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF.

9:00 AM EDT: Analytical Corner: Climate Change/Scenario Planning

Session 1: A Green Recovery for Sub-Saharan Africa (How can the policies for a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis also build resilience to another crisis—climate change? A green recovery in sub-Saharan Africa can be achieved by empowering people, enhancing physical infrastructure, and strengthening coping mechanisms.)

Session 2: Mitigating Climate Change - Growth and Distribution-Friendly Strategies (Without immediate emission reduction policies, global warming will soon have catastrophic implications. An initial green investment push together with gradually rising carbon prices would reduce emissions sufficiently at reasonable output costs.)

Session 3: Session 3: Better Than a Crystal Ball? Scenario Planning & Policy Gaming at the IMF (It’s impossible to accurately predict the future so strategic foresight leverages multiple plausible futures to help us adeptly navigate uncertain times. This presentation describes how the IMF has used foresight, including scenario planning and policy gaming, to inform strategy and policy.)


Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva delivered opening remarks to the Annual Meetings press conference, in which she said "Nine months into the pandemic, we are still struggling with the darkness of a crisis that has taken more than a million lives, and driven the economy into reverse, causing sharply higher unemployment, rising poverty, and the risk of “a lost generation” in low-income countries. The picture over the last few months has become less dire, yet we continue to project the worst global recession since the Great Depression. Growth is expected to fall to -4.4 percent this year. And over the next five years, the crisis could cost an estimated $28 trillion in output losses." Read her full remarks here.

We also just published the October 2020 Fiscal Monitor, which examines countries’ experiences managing the crisis and discusses what governments can do in the different phases of the pandemic to save lives, reduce the impact of the recession, and revive growth and job creation.

"As economies begin to recover, governments should seize this moment to move away from the pre-crisis growth model and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon and digital economy.  Carbon pricing should be a key feature of this transition, because it encourages people to reduce energy use and shift to cleaner alternatives—and, moreover, it generates revenue that can be used in part to support the most vulnerable," write the IMF's Vitor Gaspar, Paulo Medas, John Ralyea, and Elif Ture in a new blog.

Press briefing speakers included Vitor Gaspar, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF; Cathy Pattillo, Assistant Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF; and Paolo Mauro, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF. The event will be moderated by Ting Yan, Communications Officer, Communications Department, IMF. Watch the event here.

Kristalina Georgieva and Melinda Gates, in a lively video discussion moderated by CNN Anchor Becky Anderson, talked about how overcoming the pandemic requires investments—in testing, therapeutics, and vaccines—and global cooperation.

Against the backdrop of rising debt levels in low-income countries, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted a Capacity Development talk that highlighted the ongoing efforts to strengthen countries’ capacity to manage debt vulnerabilities and mitigate fiscal risks. Speakers included Roger Nord, Institute for Capacity Development, IMF; Peter Breuer, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF; Oana Croitoru, Institute for Capacity Development, IMF; Clement Ncuti, Statistics Department, IMF; Marcos Chamon, Strategy and Policy Review Department, IMF; and Amanda Sayegh, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF.

Don't miss three new Analytical Corners on Technology in a New World, which featured discussions on Digitalization and the Fight Against COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa, Technology Adoption and Economic Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic; and Mobile Money and COVID-19

Finally, as part of the Governor Talks series, Mohamed Benchaaboun, Minister of Economy and Finance of Morocco, was is in discussion with Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF on his country's response to COVID-19.


In our latest World Economic Outlook, we continue to project a deep recession in 2020. Global growth is projected to be -4.4 percent, an upward revision of 0.8 percentage points compared to our June update. This upgrade owes to somewhat less dire outcomes in the second quarter, as well as signs of a stronger recovery in the third quarter, offset partly by downgrades in some emerging and developing economies. In 2021 growth is projected to rebound to 5.2 percent, -0.2 percentage points below our June projection.

"If medical solutions can be available faster and more widely relative to our baseline, it could lead to a cumulative increase in global income of almost $9 trillion by end 2025, raising incomes in all countries and reducing income divergence," said IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath at the press conference. Read her full blog here and watch the press briefing here.

We also just published our latest Global Financial Stability Report, which found that while significant improvement in financial conditions has helped maintain the flow of credit to the economy, the economic outlook remains highly uncertain. A disconnect persists, for example, between financial markets—where there have been rising stock market valuations (despite the recent repricing)—and the weak economic activity and uncertain outlook. This gap can gradually narrow if the economy recovers swiftly. But if the recovery is delayed, for example because it may take longer to get the virus under control, the investor optimism may wane. Read the full blog here by Financial Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department Tobias Adrian. You can also watch the press briefing here.

Click here to watch European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and IMF European Department Director Alfred Kammer discuss the post-pandemic landscape and challenges for policy makers in Europe. Lagarde said that we need to address the pandemic and support the recovery by focusing on three kinds of policies: a sound regulatory environment, targeted public investment that encourages private investment, and both education and training. She also noted that citizens are going to drive change moving forward, and that 75% of the population in the Euro area expects their government to put environmental protection and climate change at the top of their priorities.

Also, don't miss the three Analytical Corners on Changing Societies that focused on the economic effects of migration, automation and jobs in Europe, and containment policies in Latin America. Three more Analytical Corners on Life under Lockdown focused on COVID-19 lessons from Asia, Germany's Short-Time Work Program, and the broader economic effects of the Great Lockdown.

And be sure to watch our Governor's Talks with Vera Daves de Sousa, Minister of Finance of Angola and Perry Warjiyo, Governor of Bank Indonesia. 

In a Capacity Development talk, a wide range of panelists discussed the role of the IMF in helping Sub-Saharan Africa to promote good governance and minimize the risk of corruption in the use of COVID-19 financial support. We also posted a new Governor Talk featuring a discussion with Azucena Arbeleche, Minister of Economy and Finance, moderated by Alejandro Werner, Director, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF.

And don't forget to check out yesterday's New Economy Forum: Learning in the Time of COVID, which featured Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the Khan Academy, and Sabina Bhatia, Deputy Secretary of the IMF, discussing the challenges to our students and our education systems, the value and limitations of virtual learning, and the long-term impact on our societies. 

Finally, carve out some time to watch a highly engaging discussion on recovery and resilience moderated by Francine Lacqua, Anchor, Bloomberg Television, London. The event featured Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, IMF, who said that governments need to focus on three priorities: improve health systems, avoid withdrawing stimulus support prematurely, and direct stimulus funding towards transforming the economy. Mark Carney, Finance Adviser to the Prime Minister for COP 26 and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, also participated in the event, noting that climate change is now center stage for the private sector, financial sector and the real economy.

Laurence Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BlackRock, Inc., said that as we move forward to a more digital society, the need for hydrocarbons is going to reduce, and that we should provide digital access to every household in the world, which would lead to a better quality of life and a better existence. Vera Daves de Sousa, Finance Minister, Angola, talked about her strategy for the next 12 months: we need to make sure we survive, that we preserve lives, that our health system does not collapse, and that our debt remains sustainable. Interested in reading up on these issues? Click here for our recommended reading list (PDF) or watch the event here.


Looking to plan even further ahead? Click here to access the full schedule of the Annual Meetings and other key events through October 22. Thank you again very much for your interest in this special daily briefing. 

Your next and final briefing will be Friday, October 16th, so stay tuned!


IMF 2020 Annual Meetings Team

P.S. Have you read our latest FAQ on the IMF's Response to COVID-19?

2020 Annual Meetings Media Partners

Financial TimesAl ArabiyaAll AfricaAssabahThe BankerCNN en Español
L'EconomistefDi MagazineForeign PolicyGlobal MarketsSinaYicai


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