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PRESS RELEASE June 6, 2019

International experts met at capital markets conference in Reykjavik to discuss how financial markets can transform to meet challenges of the future

Reykjavik, June 6, 2019 - Government debt managers and other public finance officials met in Reykjavik from June 3-5, 2019, to discuss a future vision for the capital markets. Building on lessons learned from the global financial crisis a decade ago and Iceland’s experience in successfully revamping its financial sector, discussions revolved around highlighting how new capital market tools and advances in technology can address a wide variety of potential future risks.

Digitization and AI are rapidly transforming how markets operate and how big data and information is being captured, analyzed and assessed by investors, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. In some emerging market countries, mobile technology has been especially transformative, as they leapfrog traditional technologies towards rapid and broad financial inclusion.

World Bank Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua said: “Capital markets can provide solutions to a wide variety of increasingly complex challenges. The pace of technological change is exponential, presenting sovereign debt managers with vast opportunities to benefit from tools such as insurance-linked securities and enabling investors to harness new technologies to assess ESG data.”

Speakers at the 2019 Government Borrowers Forum (GBF) included Iceland’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Bjarni Benediktsson, the Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Guðmundur Árnason, the Central Bank Governor, Már Guðmundsson, and senior officials and private sector representatives from around the world. 

Now in its 38th year, the GBF provides a forum for senior debt managers and other financial market experts to discuss current challenges and work together to find solutions that leverage capital markets to ensure stability and a more sustainable future. Each year, about 80 to 100 senior debt managers from around the world attend. This year’s GBF was hosted by Iceland’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and organized in partnership with the World Bank Treasury, which hosts the GBF Secretariat. It marks the first time that the Forum was hosted in Iceland. Participants from 30 countries attended the GBF in Iceland, spanning the globe from Jamaica, Nicaragua, Uruguay, the US and Canada to Denmark, France, Portugal, the UK, Kenya, Indonesia and the Philippines.

About the World Bank

The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), rated Aaa/AAA (Moody’s/S&P), is an international organization created in 1944 and the original member of the World Bank Group. It operates as a global development cooperative owned by 189 nations. It provides its members with financing, expertise and coordination services so they can achieve equitable and sustainable economic growth in their national economies and find effective solutions to pressing regional and global economic and environmental problems. The World Bank has two main goals: to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. It seeks to achieve them primarily by providing loans, risk management products, and expertise on development-related disciplines to its borrowing member government clients in middle-income countries and other creditworthy countries, and by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges. It has been issuing sustainable development bonds in the international capital markets for over 70 years to fund its activities that achieve a positive impact.


Heike Reichelt
Head of Investor Relations and New Products
The World Bank
+1 202 477 2880