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PRESS RELEASE October 18, 2017

World Bank Treasury Hosted its 2nd Government Debt and Risk Management Program Roundtable

Washington, D.C. October 19, 2017—The World Bank Treasury has successfully concluded its second Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) Program Roundtable. The GDRM program, sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), supports middle-income countries to improve macroeconomic and fiscal management by reducing vulnerability to financial and other shocks.

27 government debt managers representing 18 emerging market countries gathered in the World Bank Treasury building in Washington D.C. to share experiences and sound practices with fellow debt managers.

The two-day roundtable, held on October 16- 17, 2017 started with welcome remarks by the World Bank Vice President and Treasurer– Arunma Oteh, and Werner Gruber, World Bank Group Executive Director followed by the keynote address, “Global Economic Outlook: Challenges and Opportunities for Emerging and Frontier Markets” by Meral Karasulu, Director of Fixed Income Research, Global Debt Team, Oppenheimer Funds.

“Debt managers in emerging market economies are facing increasingly complex challenges and vulnerabilities, making effective and prudent debt management all the more macro-critical.”  said Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.   “Middle-income countries in particular, are engaging in ever more complex operations for funding and risk management. At the World Bank, we recognize our clients’ need for specialized and highly tailored support in building the required capacity,” she said highlighting one of the GDRM program’s crucial components.

The Roundtable featured discussions on a range of topics related to the theme of “NAVIGATING DEBT MARKETS”. The debt practitioners debated issues such as “Currency Choice in International Bond Markets”, “Using Cross-Currency Swaps to Manage the Cost and Risk Profile of Public Debt Portfolios”, “Innovative Financial Instruments: What is the Promise for Public Debt Managers?”, “International Settlement of Local Currency Bonds”, and “Managing Relations with Non-Resident Investors”, followed by presentations about debt management reforms under the GDRM program in Azerbaijan, Indonesia and Serbia.

Later, GDRM program participants took stock of the first phase of the program, evaluated achievements and challenges in fully implementing reforms. As the program is entering its second phase in 2018, it will build on the existing and unique strengths and incorporate new elements to foster the sustainability of results.

The GDRM Round table concluded with the closing remarks by Marcelo Giugale, Director, Financial Advisory and Banking, World Bank Treasury.