International cooperation for expert assistance
The Riksbank co-operates with central banks of selected countries to share knowledge in the field of key central-bank related matters. The purpose of this exchange is to strengthen the effectiveness of the recipient central banks and thereby to contribute to economic stability and developments in these countries
This means of co-operation is generally known internationally as technical assistance, and the Riksbank has exercised it in its current form since the year 2000. The areas that are primarily in demand by the central banks involved are monetary policy, financial stability, communication, governance of a central bank and payment systems.
The expert assistance takes the form of seconding Riksbank experts for short-term assignments to the other central banks. The Riksbank also receives staff from the foreign central banks on short-term study visits, occasionally also on a slightly longer term.
To ensure that the co-operation is effective and fruitful, the Riksbank's commitments are of a long-term nature and cover a period of several years.
At present programmes are active with the central banks of Albania, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda and Vietnam. The Bank has earlier implemented a co-operation project with the central bank of Sri Lanka.
Selection of countries
The initiative to begin a technical assistance programme with a country often comes in connection with the regular contacts that the Riksbank maintains with other central banks in various contexts. Before a project begins it must be approved by SIDA, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency. Over the years, around twenty people from the Riksbank have travelled abroad as part of these projects. When the Riksbank receives colleagues from abroad, the visits usually involve several Riksbank staff members.
The co-operation projects with the selected central banks are financed by SIDA. The Riksbank has currently allocated staff resources of about three full-time equivalents for its international technical assistance.
The Riksbank's employees also take part in similar work organised and financed by other international organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund, IMF.
The technical assistance is organised as meetings of colleagues. The Riksbank experts describe how they work in their respective fields of responsibilities, and the recipient central bank staff members assess this way of working and then formulate their own suggestions and solutions. The co-operation is based on sharing own experiences between all employees involved.
In addition to contributing to shared knowledge with the central banks of other countries, the technical assistance offers a good experience for the Riksbank's employees to take part in such international projects. It is instructive for them to explain to others what they work with and at the same time gain an insight into the way things are done at other central banks.