Svein Gjedrem, Governor of the Central Bank of Norway, delivered his speech, "Multilateral Approaches to Global Challenges," at a PIIE meeting held February 25, 2010. He focused on the international financial system from the perspective of Norway as a small, open, advanced country and large oil exporter outside the European Union. He emphasized the role of the Central Bank of Norway, which both operates a wholly independent monetary policy and manages one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.
The global crisis has again clearly demonstrated the need for multilateral cooperation and strong and effective international institutions in the field of economics and finance. However, the present setup is unsatisfactory in several respects. Faults in governance and deficient legitimacy may lead to insufficient traction when it comes to tackling market imperfections, the pursuit of consistent and sustainable macroeconomic policies, and of a sound and stable global economic and financial system. Reforms are needed. A legitimate international economic and financial order is crucially important for small and large countries alike. All countries should be able to participate, wield influence and share responsibility in a representative structure.
Governor Gjedrem has headed the Central Bank of Norway since 1999. Prior to that, he spent 20 years in the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, including as Director-General for Economic Policy and Secretary-General of the entire department. He has extensive experience in both managing his country's economic policy during periods of crisis and determining how to invest current oil revenues for the long-term benefit of his population.