IMF and Austria Sign Agreement on the Extension of the JVI

May 15, 2014

MoU signed during the 2014 Spring Meetings

During the 2014 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington DC, Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Austrian Vice Chancellor and Minister of Finance Michael Spindelegger, Oesterreichische Nationalbank Governor Ewald Nowotny and Deputy Governor Andreas Ittner signed on April 11 an addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding between the IMF and Austria on the continuation of the Joint Vienna Institute (JVI). 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. 

At the signing ceremony, on behalf of the JVI and in particular officials from the JVI's target regions, I thanked the Austrian Authorities and the IMF for their continued trust, support, and generosity. Austria's and the IMF's "Investment in Learning" has helped build economic skills, share knowledge, and facilitate learning from peers. While it is difficult to quantify the return on investment in capacity development, founding the JVI was arguably one of the best investment decisions taken. 

With its partners, JVI staff is committed to ensure that the return on investment will continue to stay very high to the benefit of the countries in the region.

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