The Governor of PMA, H.E. Mr. Azzam Shawwa, attended the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held in Washington, D.C., accompanied by a high-level delegation from the PMA and the Financial Follow-Up Unit.In a session also attended by governors from Arab MENA countries, Governor Shawwa met with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Christine Lagarde. During the meeting, Ms. Lagarde touched on IMF’s support to Arab countries, in particular war-torn or famine-stricken countries or countries affected by climate change. Several governors recounted the challenges and crises that face their countries and, in turn, PMA Governor presented an overview of the current status of the Central Bank of Palestine, the legislations and the compliance of the PMA with international laws and procedures. Further, the Governor requested that the IMF adopts the use of “Palestine” instead of the “West Bank and Gaza”.
The Governor also met with the governors of the central banks of Israel, Malta and Sweden as well as with the Vice President Policy and Partnerships of European Bank for reconstruction and development , Mr. Pierre Heilbron, who showed interest in PMA’s work. The meeting closed with the conclusion to foster European-Palestinian correspondent banking relations.
During his visit, Governor Shawwa was received at IMF’s various departments, where the PMA was commended for its achievements, its work methodologies and future plans. Moreover, these departments expressed their willingness to continuously provide technical support and necessary training to PMA staff and to maintain the strong professional relation with the PMA, established over many years.
On the margins of the meeting, Governor Shawwa met with Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer Fowler and acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Antonin Marx. He delivered a detailed briefing on PMA’s work. Ms. Fowler and Mr. Marx conveyed their high regard for the PMA and its supervisory role over the banks and said they were desirous to help the PMA build on the progress achieved so far. H.E. the Governor also met with Ambassador Willian Brownfield Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
H.E. Governor Shawwa visited the Palestinian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and congratulated Dr. Hussam Zumlot on his new appointment as ambassador, wishing him all success. Governor Shawwa delivered a lecture that was attended by embassy staff which addressed the state of the Palestinian banking system, PMA’s achievements and salient role in maintaining financial stability as well as the robustness of the banking system.
On a different note, the delegation will commence a week-long tour that will include the US Department of the Treasury and correspondent banks in New York. The delegation will be headed by H.E. the Governor and will be joined by representatives from some of the banks operating in Palestine, the Palestine Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Financial Follow-Up Unit. The tour is intended to provide an introduction to the banking sector in Palestine.