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Strengthening public debt transparency: the role of the IMF and the World Bank - G20 note

Accurate and comprehensive debt data are a corner stone in sound borrowing and lending practices. Policy makers in debtor countries require this information to make informed and appropriate borrowing decisions, in order to safeguard debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability. Creditors, donors, analysts, and rating agencies, require it to make accurate assessment of sovereign financing needs and creditworthiness, and to appropriately price debt instruments. Finally, the public requires this information to hold the government accountable for its fiscal management, and to enable citizens to participate more actively in governance, potentially reducing corruption. While country authorities have the primary responsibility to report transparently their debt data, IFIs also have a role to play in supporting transparency and sustainable lending practices. The IMF and the World Bank collect and disseminate debt statistics that are used by a wide range of stakeholders; produce published analyses of public debt data via debt sustainability analyses (DSAs); support countries’ efforts to produce medium-term debt management strategies (MTDSs); publish information on countries’ borrowing capacity; and directly liaise with multilateral, bilateral, and private creditors. All of these efforts provide important support to borrowers and lenders in their decision making. This note details the IMF and World Bank role, and is structured as follows: the next section discusses the two institutions’ efforts in collecting and disseminating debt statistics. The third section examines the debt analyses carried out by the two institutions through DSAs and MTDSs and the fourth section looks at the two institutions’ support for sustainable lending practices. Each section concludes with a forward-looking agenda.


Communiqué - G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors Meeting 21-22 July 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina

G20 Notes on Strengthening Public Debt Transparency