Finance and Development Cooperation hand in hand at the World Bank

The Minister of Finance and the Minister of Development Cooperation will share henceforth the supervision of the World Bank Group. That was decided today by the Council of Ministers on a proposal of Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo. Until now, this task was designated exclusively to the Minister of Finance. This shared supervision is a logical step. Today, the World Bank is the principal multilateral partner of the Belgian development policy and the largest global actor in the field of international development. This decision makes it possible for the Belgian international development policy to have a stronger role in the policy of the World Bank.

Until now, the Minister of Finance had the supervision of the World Bank Group under the terms of a royal decree of November 12th, 2001, and the Minister of Development Cooperation only provided the budgets. From now on, this competence will be shared. The Belgian contributions to the institutions will  be registered on the budget of the Development Cooperation, and will be managed in cooperation with Finance. The shared supervision combines the expertise and the field knowledge of the Belgian development policy, with the financial and banking expertise from Finance.

Main multilateral partner organization 

Alexander De Croo, Minister of Development Cooperation: "It is important that we strengthen our bond with the World Bank Group through our development policy. The World Bank is the largest player in the world in terms of international development and one of our key multilateral partners. In the partner countries of the Belgian development policy, the World Bank is active in the fight against extreme poverty and the promotion of inclusive economic growth. It is important that our Belgian expertise and know-how play a greater role in the World Bank. A shared supervision makes this possible.” 

Johan Van Overtveldt, Finance minister: "The transition to a shared guardianship is logical, and strengthens the international position of Belgium in several aspects. The Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank now are under the jurisdiction of Finance. These regions are particularly dynamic in economic terms. We must try to offer added value to our businesses who want to cooperate with these development banks and regions. Besides development policy, there is also an economic component that offers opportunities."

Equal partners

To underline the role of Development Cooperation, the Minister of Development Cooperation will be appointed as Alternate Governor for Belgium in the institutions of the World Bank, a function that was until now carried out by the Governor of the National Bank. From 1 July 2017 the Minister of Development Cooperation will also appoint the Belgian representative of the International Development Association (IDA), which is important to influence the IDA policy through our development policy.

Development Cooperation will now be competent for the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund, a logical choice since the Belgian development policy focuses on Africa. Finance will be competent for the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Development Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The Administrations of Finance and Development Cooperation will jointly defend the Belgian interests in the World Bank and for instance participate together in the negotiations on reconstitution of funds and capital increases. This cooperation on an equal footing, should make it possible to take full advantage of the additional know-how in both administrations, whereby Finance brings particular financial expertise and Development Cooperation expertise in international development policy.