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International financial institutions
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group together form the Bretton Woods institutions. Switzerland has been a member of these institutions, which were founded in 1944-45, since 1992. It heads a voting group to which Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan belong.
The IMF promotes international cooperation in the financial field, stabilizes the international financial system and helps to prevent financial crises. It extends credit for limited periods to member states with balance-of-payment problems.
The World Bank is principally concerned with lending, technical cooperation and providing institutional advice on combating poverty and improving living conditions in developing countries.
Switzerland is actively committed to the stability of the international economic and financial system, and to economic development and the fight against poverty in developing and newly-emerging countries. It therefore attaches great economic and political importance to the Bretton Woods institutions.