Government Borrowers Forum tackles digital challenge

The digital revolution was one of the chief topics on the agenda of this year’s Government Borrowers Forum, held in Luxembourg for the first time in 20 years.

The Luxembourg Ministry of Finance and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) co-hosted the Government Borrowers Forum (GBF) together with the World Bank Treasury.

The conference took place earlier this week at the ARBED building in Luxembourg.

Every year, up to 100 senior debt managers from about 40 countries attend the forum.

The GBF is for senior officials of countries issuing in international capital markets and treasurers of multilateral development banks to share debt-management experiences and exchange views.

Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, said: “I am very pleased that, after 20 years, the Government Borrowers Forum is again held here in Luxembourg. Since then, much has changed.

“While a number of topics on the agenda have remained the same, the technological context has evolved in a spectacular manner. Today, the rise of new technologies and fintech is ever-present. The digital revolution is a challenge but also brings new opportunities for anyone involved with money and debt management.”

Speakers at the 2017 GBF included Gramegna, Yves Mersch, European Central Bank Executive Board member; Klaus Regling, ESM Managing Director; Arunma Oteh, Vice-President and Treasurer of the World Bank; and Kalin Anev Janse, Secretary General of ESM.

Oteh said: “For the last 35 years, this forum has been providing delegates an opportunity to reflect on the big picture.

“This year, we chose the theme ‘how disruptions are shaping the financial system of the future’.

“We hope the participants will not only focus on the risks and challenges of these uncertain times but also on the opportunities that business trends present to us.”

Anev Janse added that the forum offered the opportunity to discuss some of the “most pressing topics for government borrowers”.