The IMF, with its proven expertise in the management of public finances and in strengthening the financial sector, is ideally placed to meet this demand. Furthermore, through its oversight function, the IMF has a deep insight into the economic and financial situation of its member countries, allowing it to target technical assistance exactly to the needs of recipient countries. Under the IMF Subaccount, SECO is able to provide technical assistance to its priority countries in a flexible and timely manner.
Objectives and activities
The main objective of the TA provided through the IMF is to promote economic stability and sustainable growth, thereby contributing to poverty reduction in recipient countries. The resources of the Subaccount are used to finance projects that seek to enhance the capacity of Fund members to formulate and implement policies in the macroeconomic, fiscal, monetary, financial and related statistical fields, including training programs and projects that strengthen the legal and administrative framework in these core areas.
Technical assistance activities focus on the following five domains of intervention:
- Public Finance Management (including tax, accounting and revenue administration)
- Macroeconomic Analysis and Management
- Financial Market Development
- Central Banking
- Economic and Finance Statistics
The IMF in its role as implementing agency is responsible for the management and administration of the program and the projects implemented under the LoU. A work plan is established by the IMF on a yearly basis. Each individual project is then submitted to SECO and discussed with recipient countries’ authorities before final approval.
Results so far
Under the previous phase, 28 projects have been or are being implemented 17 countries. The following key results have been achieved among others: i) Improved capacity for cash planning and management in Peru and Colombia, iii) strengthened tax administrations in Serbia, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; and iii) enhanced banking supervision in Ghana und the Kyrgyz Republic.
The external evaluation summarizes the main success of the program as follows:
a) the arrangement has proven its ability to deliver successful TA performance;
b) high efficiency in TA delivery; and
c) flexibility and adaptability of the TA inputs mix are the key strengths, built on a generally strong level of ownership and engagement by the beneficiary countries.
How to get involved
The Swiss IMF Technical Assistance Subaccount follows a demand-driven approach. Requests by recipient countries’ authorities must be submitted directly to the IMF. Based on these requests, projects are proposed by the IMF to SECO. The proposals are generally based on the findings of IMF needs assessment missions.