Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is leading the South African delegation to the bi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington.
This is his first visit to the gathering since being re-appointed finance chief earlier this year after former President Jacob Zuma fired him in December 2015.
Nene returns to one of the pre-emininent gatherings of economic, financial and development stakeholders just days after the IMF upgraded its growth forecast for the country to 1.5% for 2018 with expectations that the global economy will grow by 3.9% – it’s strongest showing since 2011.
While political changes have shifted sentiment in a positive direction towards South Africa, Nene must grapple with IMF concerns about bottlenecks that continue to hamper the need for structural changes to the economy that will ensure critically needed accelerated GDP growth.
Reserve Bank Governor Leseja Kganyago also returns, this time as Chair of the powerful IMFC (International Monetary and Financial Committee), that will likely highlight possible downturns in the medium term hat could derail the positive sentiment in the global economy and hamper those economies that today find themselves stuck in a low growth trap.
Building resilience is likely to be a key talking point in the days ahead.