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GDRM Program Virtual Roundtable 2022

February 22-23, 2022

Washington D.C.


The GDRM Program, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), was established in 2011 to provide support to middle-income countries on public debt and risk management. The program aims to improve macroeconomic and fiscal management and reduce vulnerability to financial shocks in the participating countries.

This year's event provided a platform for debt managers in GDRM countries to share their work and accomplishments as well as to engage with their peers in discussions on debt management challenges during the pandemic, the use of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) instruments in debt management, and fiscal risk management.  

  • Tuesday, February 22, 2022

    Opening remarks                          

    Speakers: Martin Saladin, Head of Operations, Economic Development and Cooperation Division, SECO and Ivailo Izvorski, Practice Manager, Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment, Global Macro and Debt, World Bank

    Taking stock of the GDRM program

    Presenter: Lars Jessen, World Bank

    Session 1: Current challenges in debt management (60 min Roundtable)

    Over the past two years we have witnessed unprecedented challenges for debt managers in terms of heightened uncertainty, higher funding needs and operational risks. The aim of this session is to have a discussion of the main challenges faced and how these challenges have been addressed. And we will discuss what to expect when things normalize.

    Chair: Ivailo Izvorski, World Bank        

    Session 2: Management of fiscal risks 

    With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the likelihood of fiscal risks materializing has increased as the macroeconomic shocks negatively impact a wide range of risks that tend to be highly correlated. Such risks have an adverse effect on countries’ funding needs during already challenging fiscal times. Debt management offices are usually associated with fiscal risks emanating from loan guarantees. Other risks that are closely related with debt arise from the debt of SOEs and sub-nationals as well as fiscal commitments and contingent liabilities from PPPs. In this session, we will discuss the roles and responsibilities of debt management office regarding debt-related fiscal risks and share country experiences.

    Moderator: Cigdem Aslan, World Bank

    Presenters: Serbia, Peru, Colombia


    Wednesday, February 23, 2022

    Session 3: The use of ESG instruments 

    Global investors have increasingly been integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations in their investment activities in the recent years, and the markets for thematic debt finance instruments, such as green bonds, have been growing rapidly. Facing the large financing needs to address the global climate change challenges, especially the financing gaps in developing countries, policy makers and stakeholders have expressed their expectations that creative deployment of these instruments would channel the vast capital market resources to fill the financing gaps.

    From a debt management perspective however, is it more hype than substance? This session will discuss the experiences of debt managers weighing the options of issuing such instruments (cost perspective, reporting requirements, design of an ESG framework), how they navigated internal and external demand for these instruments, and their experience with issuing or deciding not to issue at this stage.

    Moderator: Lea Hakim, World Bank

    Presenters:  Rodrigo Cabral, World Bank Treasury, Egypt, Indonesia

    Session 4: The delivery of technical assistance under the GDRM program 

    The delivery of the GDRM program is based on long-term partnerships between the World Bank and program countries, and the support of implementation of reforms in targeted areas of public debt and risk management. Program delivery has used various channels, from missions, training events, peer-to-peer group dialogue, webinars, and off-site support, and, during the pandemic, virtual support. This session draws lessons on the “how” of the GDRM program. Questions to be addressed in this session include: Has adequate and useful expertise been delivered? How do you assess the virtual support provided? How can reform implementation be strengthened, specifically, how can senior management support be ensured? Has enough been done to ensure sharing of experiences and knowledge on common themes relevant across countries? Have webinars under the GDRM umbrella and for broader audiences added value?

    Chair: Lars Jessen, World Bank

    GDRM Outreach Activities

    Presenter: Banu Turhan Kayaalp, World Bank

    Closing remarks: Ivailo Izvorski, World Bank