The World Bank

http://www.worldbank.org

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which was later known as The World Bank was established in July 1944 by 45 countries, including the former Czechoslovakia, at an international conference in Bretton Woods, USA. It came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 when 29 countries ratified the Articles of Agreement. Only members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be members of the World Bank.

As its activities expanded, the World Bank established four institutions, thus creating the World Bank Group. Traditionally, the President of the WBG is the representative of the largest shareholder in the Bank - the USA. Since July 2012, Jim Yong Kim has been the President. World Bank headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., USA.

The World Bank Group consists of the following institutions:

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

The IBRD came into existence in 1944 and currently has 188 member countries. These countries also must be members of the IMF. The IBRD is a bank with the highest rating (AAA) and can borrow funds on the global financial markets at the most favourable conditions and can lend them to its members (developing countries in particular). The IBRD offers mid- and long-term loans, usually for a period of 15-20 years, with a repayment holiday of up to 5 years. The provided loans must be backed by governmental guarantees.

Goals of the institution

  • supporting sustainable economic development and reducing poverty in member countries, mainly through the provision of loans and technical services for certain projects and programmes of economic reform aimed at economic and social needs in health care, education, regional development and basic infrastructure
  • supporting the comprehensive and consistent development of international trade and maintaining the balance of accounts of payments
  • providing financial support to governments when reforming structural and social policies which are crucial for more effective development of both the private and public sectors and the reduction of poverty

Capital

  • initial deposits by members (bonds)
  • money gained by issuing short-term or long-term bonds
  • loans from financial market and governmental agencies
  • profits from its own active operations

IBRD bodies

The Board of Governors is the highest managing body; all member countries appoint a Governor and an Alternate to the Board. This position is usually taken by ministers of finance or central bank governors.

The Board of Executive Directors has 25 Executive Directors who are responsible for the general activities of the institution.

International Development Association (IDA)

The International Development Association was established in 1960 and currently has 173 member countries. The IDA's managing bodies are identical to those of the IBRD.

Goals of the institution

  • providing help to the poorest developing countries under such conditions which do not burden the balance of payments of these countries to the extent of IBRD loans. This help currently focuses mainly on countries with an annual GNI per capita lower than USD 1,215
  • stimulating economic and social progress in developing countries through productivity growth, thus improving living conditions in those countries
  • providing technical assistance
  • providing advisory services

Capital

  • initial deposits by members (bonds)
  • contributions from member countries
  • profits achieved in the IDA

The IDA provides loans only to governments of developing countries for a period of 35-40 years with a 10-year repayment holiday and with no interest charge. Only an annual administrative fee amounting to 0.75% of each loan provided must be paid.

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

The IFC was established in 1956 and currently has 184 member countries. The IFC provides loans for development projects, without the guarantee of the corresponding government, for a period of 3-12 years, with a repayment holiday up to 3 years. The IFC receives the necessary capital by issuing bonds in member countries.

Goals of the institution

  • helping develop the private sector, especially in developing countries
  • helping develop local capital markets through international capital inflow
  • advisory services
  • preparing and training of economic staff
  • advising governments on how to improve conditions for private investments (e.g. helping them develop domestic investment markets and restructuring and privatising state-owned companies)

IFC bodies

IFC managing bodies are identical with those of the World Bank.

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

The MIGA was established in 1988. It currently has 181 members. The MIGA's managing bodies include the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors.

Goals of the institution

  • supporting the inflow of foreign investment into the production sector of member countries, especially in developing countries
  • providing guarantees to foreign investors against losses connected to political risks
  • providing advisory and consultancy services

Capital

  • initial deposits by members (bonds)
  • contributions by member countries
  • profits achieved in the MIGA

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

The ICSID is an autonomous international institution established in 1966 under the auspices of the World Bank under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (Convention). Currently, the Convention had been signed by 159 countries and ratified by 150 of them.

Goals of the institution

  • solving investment disputes between member countries and foreign investors who are nationals of other member countries. Member countries which signed the Convention agree that the decisions by the arbitral tribunal should be binding for both parties, i.e. both parties are obliged to comply with and fulfil the conditions of such decisions. A breach of this agreement can be a matter for a court proceeding at the International Court of Justice in The Hague
  • solving ad hoc disputes which are dealt with according to the arbitrational rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
  • creating and harmonising legal norms.

 ICSID bodies

The Administrative Council is comprised of members appointed by each country which has signed the Convention. The president of the Administrative Council is the President of the World Bank. The annual Council meetings are held together with the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

The Secretariat of the ICSID, led by the Secretary-General, who is legal representative of the ICSID.

The Slovak Republic and the World Bank

The Czechoslovak Federative Republic (CSFR) joined the agreement with the World Bank Group institutions on 20 September 1990. After the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Slovak Republic acquired succession in the IBRD, IDA, IFC and MIGA. In 1994, after signing the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, the Slovak Republic also became an ICSID member.

The Slovak Republic fully accepted the rights and commitments following from succession. Slovakia acquired the assets and liabilities towards the World Bank and its institutions through the division of ownership rights and the Structural Adjustment Loan (SAL) in the former CSFR between the Czech Republic and Slovakia at a ratio of 2:1.

In 2008 Slovakia graduated from the World Bank's operations. Graduation formally means that a member country leaves the group of developing and emerging countries (the so-called 'Part 2" countries), and becomes a member of the group of developed countries (the so-called "Part 1" countries). The status of the Slovak Republic thus shifted from a receiver of World Bank help to a provider of development help.

Based on the cooperation between Slovakia and the IDA, Slovakia is now one of the contributing countries. SR participated in the 11th throught 16th IDA replenishments focused on financial aid for the world's poorest countries. On 24th September 2014 the Slovak Government approved the participation of Slovakia in the 17th IDA replenishment and the financing of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. Slovakia's contribution, based on the 15th IDA replenishment, represents EUR 2.66 million.

Slovakia belongs to the Belgian group (Constituency), together with Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Czech Republic, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Hungary, Slovenia and Turkey. The new Constituency Agreement was signed in October 2014 for the period of 10 years. As of November 2014, the Executive Director of this group is Mr. Franciscus Godts (Belgium). Slovakia's representative in the World Bank Group in the position of Governor is the Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic. Deputy Governor of the NBS holds the position of Alternate Governor in the World Bank Group.

Kristína Mikulová is the representative of the Slovak republic in the World Bank as an advisor to the Executive Director.

Updated: March 2016