IMF, World Bank discuss debt sustainability, restructuring challenges


By Okeoghene Akubuike


The Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable (GSDR), on Wednesday discussed debt sustainability and debt restructuring challenges and ways to address them.

This is contained in a statement issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Press Centre, a copy of which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Abuja.

NAN reports that the meeting was held in Washington D.C. as part of the programme of events of the World Bank Group/IMF 2023 Spring Meetings.

The statement said at the end of the meeting, the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Group President, David Malpass, and the Indian Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, co-chairs of the GSDR, released the following statement.

“The GSDR met today and discussed debt sustainability and debt restructuring challenges and ways to address them.

“We are grateful to all the participants that included Paris Club and non-Paris Club creditors, debtor countries, and representatives of the private sector.

“The discussion focused on the actions that can be taken now to accelerate debt restructuring processes and make them more efficient, including under the G20 Common Framework.

“We agreed on the importance to urgently improve information sharing including on macroeconomic projections and debt sustainability assessments at an early stage of the process.

“The IMF and World Bank will rapidly issue staff guidance on information sharing at each stage of the restructuring process.”

The statement said the meeting discussed the role of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in these processes through the provision of net positive flows of concessional finance.

It said the International Development Association (IDA)’s provision of positive net flows and the ex-ante implicit debt relief through increased concessions and grants to countries facing higher risks of debt distress was welcomed.

“To clarify key concepts to support predictability and fairness of debt restructuring processes, a workshop will be organised in the next weeks on how to assess and enforce comparability of treatment.

Moreover, it said further work will be undertaken on principles regarding cut-off dates, and formal debt service suspension at the beginning of the process.

“Also, further work will be undertaken on the treatment of arrears, and perimeter of debt to be restructured, including with regards to domestic debt.

“This work will also help in clarifying potential timetables to accelerate debt restructurings.”

The co-chairs said the IMF, World Bank and the G20 Presidency would continue to work closely together and with other partners to further support the international response to current debt challenges. (NAN)