The Commonwealth Public Debt Management Forum is an excellent opportunity for debt managers, experts and practitioners to discuss issues crucial to countries’ future growth and development, says Uganda’s High Commissioner.
Julius Peter Moto made the opening remarks at the forum being held in London from June 5-6 under the theme Public Debt Management – Transition and Innovation. The meeting is designed to encourage the sharing and exploration of strategies for effective public debt management and debt sustainability.
Speaking to representatives from high commissions, global banks and international financial organisations, he said: “In the current context of high and rising levels of public debt and growing concerns about debt transparency and data quality, this conference is very timely. Public debt in developed economies, despite some recent decline, is still close to levels not seen since the Second World War.”
Mr Moto also praised the Commonwealth’s new debt management system, which will be launched at the Forum tomorrow. He said: “I have been told Meridian is developed on a new technological platform which is much simpler and versatile to use.
“I have also been told it is comprehensive enough to meet all the requirements of a modern public debt management office.
“It is going to benefit more than 60 countries which currently use CS-DRMS to manage debt amounting to more than USD 1.5 trillion. Meridian will be our trusted new debt management system.”
Echoing Mr Moto’s sentiments, Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Arjoon Suddhoo, said the forum puts the spotlight on solutions to the challenging debt management issues shared by Commonwealth countries.
He added, “Debt sustainability concerns are becoming a reality in many of our Commonwealth countries with almost half of our developing member states carrying debt to GDP burdens of over 60 per cent and nearly a quarter having debt over 80 per cent.
“The recent decline in commodity prices and increasing frequency of natural disasters has severely impacted government revenue and terms of trade for countries reliant on commodities and tourism industries.
“The future of growth and development in our Commonwealth countries is highly contingent on stable and responsible government finances, thus creating a fiscal space that can adequately absorb economic shocks similar to those we see currently and to aid vital development goals.
“Today’s theme ‘Transition and Innovation’ represents our aspiration for a change in the future of Commonwealth debt management and sustainability.”