Robert Holzmann: Bretton Woods @80 and Austria's IMF Membership @751

Dinner speech by Dr Robert Holzmann, Governor of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, the Austrian central bank, at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank Conference "Bretton Woods @80 and Austria's IMF Membership @75", Vienna, 4 March 2024.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
27 March 2024

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends and colleagues,

Introduction and wrap-up of the conference

Welcome to the last and one of the most pleasant parts of today's conference: dinner with likeminded persons and great food and wine. I will not keep you from dinner for long, but I would like to say a few words about today's conference and share with you some brief reflections on my own work experience at the Bretton Woods Institutions, Austria's role at the institutions, Austria's constituency and some key messages for the IMF.

Today, we celebrated the important role of the Bretton Woods Institutions over the past 80 years in promoting international economic cooperation and stability – a role which cannot be overestimated. Let me quote from the inaugural address which former US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau gave at the Bretton Woods Conference in 19442 : the Bretton Woods Institutions were designed to facilitate "-(the) creation of a dynamic world community in which the peoples of every nation will be able to realize their potentialities in peace." Given the profound challenges we currently face, the Bretton Woods Institutions are more important than ever if we want to live up to this goal.

Also today, we celebrated Austria's long-standing relationship with the IMF of 75 years – and the contribution of the Bretton Woods Institutions to rebuilding Austria from a shattered post-war economy into the major donor to these institutions it is today.