Norges Bank

Press release

Executive Director Jon A. Solheim, Norges Bank, new executive director at the IMF

Executive Director Jon A. Solheim, Norges Bank, will take office as executive director for the Nordic-Baltic countries in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the IMF's headquarters in Washington DC for a two-year term beginning in January 2004.

Executive directors are members of the Executive Board, which is responsible for conducting the day-to-day business of the IMF. Solheim will represent Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These countries are jointly represented by one member of the Board. The position is held by each of the Nordic countries in turn and it is now Norway's turn to take office.

An economics graduate from the University of Oslo, Solheim joined the staff of Norges Bank in 1970. He worked at the European department of the IMF from 1972 to 1975 and as chief economist at the Central Bank of Gambia in 1977-78. In 1984-86, he held the position of managing director at the Association of Norwegian Finance Houses and from 1991 to 1993 was alternate executive director for the Nordic-Baltic countries in the IMF. Solheim has held positions at executive level at Norges Bank for many years, most recently as executive director of Norges Bank Financial Stability. He has also taken part in a number of international and national committees dealing with economic, monetary and foreign exchange issues and has carried out short-term assignments in Jamaica, Zambia and Namibia.

International Monetary Fund
The primary responsibility of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to promote international monetary and financial stability. Surveillance of economic developments in member countries is one of the Fund's core activities. The Fund provides loans to countries with short-term balance-of-payments problems and technical assistance to countries that do not have adequate institutions and expertise to be able to design and implement sustainable economic policies.

The IMF has 184 member countries. The highest decision-making body of the IMF is the Board of Governors, which consists of one governor from each member country. The Governor of Norges Bank, Svein Gjedrem, is Norway's representative. The Board has delegated decision-making authority on issues relating to the day-to-day work of the Fund to the IMF's 24-member Executive Board. The five largest member countries, the US, Japan, the UK, Germany and France, along with Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, have their own seats on the Board. The other 16 executive directors are elected for two-year terms by groups of countries, known as constituencies.

The Norwegian Minister of Finance, Per-Kristian Foss, will be the Nordic-Baltic constituency's representative on the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) as from 1 January 2004. The Committee consists of ministers of finance or central bank governors from the 24 constituencies and convenes twice a year (spring and autumn). The Committee draws up parameters for the IMF's work in the following six months.

Deputy Governor of Norges Bank Jarle Bergo will take over as chairman of the Nordic-Baltic Monetary and Financial Committee on the same date.


Press telephone: +47 21 49 09 30

Published 22 December 2003 11:00