International cooperation for expert assistance
The Riksbank cooperates 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 central banks and thereby to contribute to economic stability and developments in the recipient countries.
This means of cooperation 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 and payment systems.
The expert assistance takes the form of staff from the Riksbank travelling on short-term assignments to the other countries’ central banks. The Riksbank also receives staff from the foreign central banks on short-term study visits and sometimes for a slightly longer term. To ensure the cooperation is effective and fruitful, the commitment made is long term and covers a period of several years.
Selection of countries
The initiative to begin a technical assistance programme with a country often comes in connection with the contacts the Riksbank maintains with other central banks in various contexts.
Criteria to be met for the Riksbank to cooperate with a country are:
- The central bank must have expressed interest in contact and must have clarified the central bank issues on which it wishes to cooperate.
- The central bank must be sufficiently well organised for the Riksbank to consider cooperation to be meaningful.
- SIDA (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) must have approved the country as a cooperating country.
Cooperation with the selected central banks is financed by SIDA. The Riksbank has allocated personnel resources amounting to up to 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 Riksbank’s overall aim in this cooperation is to strengthen the central banks of the recipient countries as institutions through training and advice. Exactly what is to be developed and in which areas depends on what the central banks request. In general, however, it is a question of improving the work of the central banks by giving them insights into new ways of working.