Good morning Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a pleasure for me to welcome you to the 17th annual Executive Forum of our Reserves Advisory and Management Program (RAMP). As you know, the Executive Forum is our flagship event for the leadership of Central Banks and other Official Sector Institutions.
We are grateful to all of you, our clients and partners. You have made this forum an important program in the annual calendar of official sector institutions. We are also pleased that we have the largest forum yet – over 140 participants from more than 70 countries, representing central banks, national pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and other official institutions.
It is a privilege for us to serve you and we appreciate that your trust has enabled us to grow the RAMP program from USD 650 million in 2001 to USD 20 billion, today, in terms of assets under management. We appreciate that you have helped us design and deliver a unique program that continues to attract new clients. We continue to seek ways to exceed your expectations.
As you know, the value proposition of RAMP is our ‘practitioner to practitioner’ model that combines being your life benchmark for asset management with advisory services and capacity building.
Indeed, we now host 30 multi-client technical workshops and over 200 advisory missions annually. In the last few months for example, we have assisted a central bank with enhancing policy parameters for reserves management, another client with the legal framework for its sovereign wealth fund and worked with a third client on strategic asset allocation.
We believe that capacity building and knowledge exchange are even more crucial in uncertain times. We are glad that you are setting the example for your teams by making this investment given your busy schedules. We have put together a program that should ensure a high return on your investment.
We chose the theme ‘Navigating Uncertainties in an Unprecedented Era’ as this reflects the times that we live in’. As you know, these uncertainties are being fueled by unprecedented nationalist and populist sentiments, geopolitical risks, technological disruptions, macroeconomic trends, amongst others. They are being exacerbated by the interconnectedness of the world. The range of outcomes around consensus expectations is significantly wider than in the past as evident in the trajectory of interest rates, currencies and commodity prices.
We have lined up distinguished and experienced speakers and panelists to help us navigate these uncertain times and hope that the rich conversations that the sessions will inspire will contribute to your efforts to ensure financial stability and earn reasonable risk adjusted returns. We believe we have a common mission as financial stability and excess returns will contribute to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, our twin goals at the Bank Group.
Dr Jim Kim, our President was not only the architect of our twin goals, but has also articulated the three paths to realizing them:
- Accelerate inclusive and sustainable economic growth
- Invest in human capital
- Foster resilience to global shocks and threats.
He has challenged us to develop innovative solutions for the world’s most challenging development issues. He has led the redefinition of development finance to ensure that the world is able to mobilize the huge resources required for development. He has also enunciated how investors through partnering with the World Bank Group, can earn reasonable returns while doing good.
We have asked Jim, in his opening remarks, to say a few words about this new definition of development finance and the opportunities that it may offer you. Please join me in welcoming Jim to make opening remarks. Thank you.