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PRESS RELEASE April 3, 2000

2000 Government Borrowers Forum Kicks off in Rome, with Keynote on New Technology and E-Business

Italian Treasury Minister Giuliano Amato, host of the 2000 Government Borrowers Forum, opened a two day conference today, bringing together more than 100 government, multilateral and private sector participants from 38 countries. Representing Italy as the host government, Treasury Secretary Director-General Mario Draghi gave opening remarks.

Co-chairs of the annual 2000 Government Borrowers Forum are Jin Liqun, Vice Minister, Ministry of Finance, People's Republic of China and Afsaneh Mashayekhi Beschloss, Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank.

Government issuers at the forum are reviewing their experiences over the last year in the debt markets, discussing topics such as liquidity in the first year on the Euro, benchmarks in a fiscal surplus environment, and increasing access for emerging market borrowers. Participants include investors, rating agencies and banks, including IMI and Banca di Roma from Italy, who will also give their own perspective.

New technology, e-business and internet-based issuance are a new focus this year. David Hayden, Chairman of Critical Path Inc., will give a keynote on the E-Commerce Revolution on Tuesday, April 4. Ginaluca Garbi, Chief Executive Officer of the electronic exchange MTS, and representatives from the investment banking community will discuss the impact of new technologies in the fixed income market. Daniele Nouy, Secretary General of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision will address the forum on the new BIS proposal for capital adequacy.

"Over the past years the attendance to this meeting by both sovereign and multilateral institutions has evolved and nearly doubled. This is an excellent networking opportunity as well as a chance for all active borrowers in international capital markets to review their recent debt strategies and discuss how to create liquidity in benchmark securities," said Beschloss.

The World Bank, as the permanent secretariat to the forum, has helped bring together borrowers since 1985. Last year the GBF was hosted by the Chinese authorities in Shanghai.