About the Issues

The Bretton Woods Committee advances members’ shared belief that international economic cooperation is essential and best served through strong and effective international financial institutions (IFIs).

The constructive dialogue which the Committee helps to facilitate shapes IFI efforts to promote economic growth, alleviate poverty, and improve global financial stability – interconnected challenges at the heart of the work of the IFIs.

Promote Economic Growth

The IFIs work to facilitate international trade and to promote higher employment and broadly sustainable economic growth. The World Trade Organization (WTO) facilitates global trade agreements on goods, services and intellectual property in order to create a clearer and more level playing field among members. The WTO then monitors these agreements and adjudicates disputes between members to help ensure that international rules are consistently applied. By offering advice and monitoring economic trends, the IFIs also help member countries build the capacities to expand trade.

Alleviate Poverty

The IFIs work with and lend to national governments, the private sector and other organizations in order to finance the building blocks of sustainable development; education, health, public administration, infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The IFIs also provide a range of analytical and advisory services to share knowledge and develop best practices in support of country-led poverty reduction and economic development strategies, as well as broader social and environmental challenges.

Improve Global Financial Stability

In an increasing interconnected world, financial instability in one market or sector can have global repercussions. The IFIs work to foster international cooperation on monetary issues and lend financial support to countries experiencing balance of payments difficulties. They provide advice on how to fight corruption, restore fiscal balance, and combat inflation. The IFIs also keep monitor global systemic risks and the economies of member countries in order to anticipate sources of instability and offer advice on how to address these challenges.