Strategic Guidelines for cooperation with the International Financial Institutions
Austria’s cooperation with the IFIs is based on the strategic guidelines defined by the Austrian Ministry of Finance. These in turn reflect Austria’s commitment to
- making international development cooperation more effective
- reducing poverty, avoiding conflict, protecting the environment and natural resources
- avoiding global financial and economic crises,
- and strengthening stability and growth, in particular in neighbouring countries.
Austria’s contributions to the IFIs make up a significant part of Austria’s overall Official Development Assistance.
The Ministry of Finance’s cooperation with the IFIs ensures Austria’s participation in the international decision-making fora and steering committees. IFI policies and instruments are key for addressing a wide range of regional and global problems, as well as for the development of export markets. The cooperation with the IFIs allows Austria to simultaneously pursue its international development goals – which are aligned to the Millennium Development Goals – and to promote its economic interests – as defined by the Ministry of Finance’s Strategy for Foreign Economic Relations.
Based on Austria’s interests and areas of expertise, the Austrian IFI Strategy focuses on the following fields: renewable energies and energy efficiency, water and sanitation, and trade.
Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency
Many developing countries face serious challenges in the energy sector, with respect to both access to energy supply in general as well as availability and affordability of clean and renewable energy in particular. The energy sector is one of the main causes of global climate change and local environmental pollution. Through its cooperation with IFIs, Austria seeks to support developing countries in developing alternatives to fossil fuels, boosting energy efficiency and advancing renewable energy sources. Furthermore, Austria’s energy policy is defined by its explicit rejection of nuclear energy.
In view of its social, economic and political importance, Austria supports the promotion of the water sector in developing countries. Austria can offer special expertise in this area and contributes actively to the international knowledge transfer.
A stronger integration of developing and transition countries into regional and international trade flows is of particular importance for the economic development of the regions concerned. Austria therefore cooperates with the IFIs to help strengthen developing countries’ trade-related skills and infrastructure, and thus empowers them to expand their trade relations and benefit from international trade agreements.