Last week’s meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Bengaluru, India closed on Saturday and was a productive meeting, despite the ongoing problems evident on the global stage. I remain encouraged by the willingness of all parties to progress on technical issues, even when it is difficult to disassociate these from political issues.
This is one reason it is so important to meet in person and build and strengthen relationships. It was great to see everyone around the table, and I appreciated the strong support for the GI Hub as we finalise our future legal and governance structure. Thank you especially to Secretary Janet Yellen (US), Treasurer Jim Chalmers (Australia), Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland (Canada), Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati (Indonesia), and Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan (Saudi Arabia). I would like to also express the appreciation of the GI Hub for Saudi Arabia’s generous financial support as we evolve our structure.
Both inside and outside of the meetings last week, a few clear priorities emerged.
There is momentum to enhance the work of the World Bank and other MDBs with the recommendations in the Capital Adequacy Framework. The nomination of Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank is an exciting step, and I anticipate he will help the bank strengthen its multilateral ties and partnerships to supercharge sustainable and fair growth. Also agreed last week was the formation of an expert group to support implementation of the CAF recommendations.
The FMCBG also agreed on approaches to managing debt, including temporary and targeted fiscal support to address the greater debt vulnerabilities of emerging and developing economies, and a push to step up the implementation of the ‘Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI’. The comparable terms of participation and fair treatment of creditors within the Common Framework will go a long way toward supporting debt sustainability and ultimately sustainable development, including essential infrastructure. On this note, the FMCBG welcomed the conclusion of debt treatment for Chad and looked for swift conclusion of the work on debt treatment for Zambia and Ethiopia and the debt situation in Sri Lanka, as well as rapid formation of an official creditor committee for Ghana’s requested debt treatment.
Infrastructure remained a key part of the agenda. I presented the GI Hub’s next iteration of our InfraTracker (watch this space) and a progress update on our exploration of infrastructure taxonomies, in which we are working with governments, MDBs, and IOs to compile the definitions of infrastructure currently being used around the world to allow for a more consistent approach to public accounting for infrastructure - which in turn can provide more confidence to the private sector to invest in infrastructure. We greatly appreciate the strong support of the membership for our work in these areas.