C'bean finance ministers to discuss joint action to prevent future debt crises

Monday, October 14, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Caribbean Community (CARICOM) finance ministers will join their counterparts from the Commonwealth in the United States to discuss coordinated interventions to prevent future debt crises.

The meeting on Thursday is being organised by the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat and will be held under the theme “Preventing Debt Crises: The Roles of Creditors and Debtors".

It will be preceded by sessions for senior finance ministry officials and central bank governors. The meeting is part of a series of meeting taking place in Washington this week including the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Commonwealth Secretariat said that the ministers will explore policy options and strategies by which debtor countries can work with creditors to prevent the recurrence of debt crises. It said debt crises, as witnessed recently in Greece and Argentina, can devastate economic growth, increase poverty and derail global agendas such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement.

Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland said: “the meeting comes at a time when global financial institutions, including the IMF, have indicated another global debt crisis could be on the horizon.

“We have seen the calamitous impact that the Asian debt crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis had in our member countries of, and we know the grave threat that the recurrence of such crises would have on the health of the global economy. So the countries of the Commonwealth are determined to work together to prevent this from happening.

“The finance ministers of our member nations will explore economic policy instruments to curtail rising household debt as well as how technological advancements and other approaches can promote debt transparency for improved risk assessment and debt sustainability,” she added.

The Secretary-General will present findings of the 2019 Commonwealth Economic Development Report, which examines the debt challenges member countries had to tackle in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.

At the meeting, ministers will also consider ways in which the newly-developed Commonwealth financial technology (fin-tech) toolkit can be deployed to help countries create and share innovative, technology-driven responses to emerging financial challenges.


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