THE BLOG

The World Will Be Watching Washington

15/04/2013 18:35 BST | Updated 15/06/2013 10:12 BST

As we approach the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF this weekend in Washington, there remains significant uncertainty around the globe on economic growth and the soundness of our financial system.

Events in Cyprus, continual sluggish growth in the eurozone, the threat of a global currency war, and the fear of another spring swoon in the US are just a few of the issues on the minds of investors and policymakers around the world as nations continue to grapple with the after effects of the 2008 economic collapse.

The general theme of this year's spring meetings - "Global challenges, global solutions" - is an important one as it highlights the need for the world's main economic problems to be solved on a multilateral basis.

These include barriers to trade, financial market regulation, and sustainable economic growth and stability.

In Europe, growth remains stagnant in many countries, with restless populations still unable to find jobs and elected officials having to balance growth and austerity.

Look for world leaders converging on Washington for the annual meetings to address the reoccurring issues of the eurozone, and to instil some confidence. What European electors need is a proper roadmap towards recovery. At the moment - it seems far away.

Another key topic on the minds of many policymakers is that of trade.

The US has been the large driving force behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and has also signalled to EU leaders that they would like a trade deal with Europe.

Last weekend it appears Angela Merkel and David Cameron talked about the prospects for an EU US trade deal at length. There are signs this British German alliance may become a driving force behind this initiative as a counterweight to a more protectionist France.

Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, and for that matter other regions, should be as supportive and open to new ideas surrounding trade.

As nations struggling with economic growth look for new routes to market, trade should be the key priority throughout the spring meetings.

Let's hope that this year's meetings will be fruitful ones for policymakers, and that the global challenges facing the world are addressed in meaningful ways so that confidence is instilled in consumers and markets.