On Debt transparency - World Bank report and request on bilateral data
I hope this email finds you well.
As you've probably seen already, the World Bank published last week a report on debt transparency, pointing at the gap in debt data in global and national tracking systems (you can download the report here, a recording of its presentation here and The Guardian piece here).
As international financial institutions and creditors usually do, the WB report focuses on the shortcomings of the debt transparency obligations/responsibility in borrowing countries, and particularly in low-income countries (the report for instance states that nearly 40 percent of LIDCs have never published debt data on their websites, or they have not updated their data in the last two years). But as we know, the responsibility for debt transparency should be on both sides of the deal, borrowers and creditors. This is why we collectively called for a comprehensive public registry of debt operations back in 2019.
The OECD is working on a "Debt Transparency Initiative" focusing on information coming from private creditors, and it is expected to publish detailed data in early 2022 (so far the debt data they published is not particularly relevant).
And data from bilateral creditors is also scarce and uneven across countries. In relation to that, the G7 committed last June to publish their “own creditor portfolios on a loan-by-loan basis for future direct lending by the end of 2021, and urge all other G20 members to do the same” [Paragraph 12]. Here's an example of the information the UK has started to publish as part of this commitment (thanks a lot Tim for telling us about this!).
We would like to know if you have details of any other G7 or G20 countries (including their ECAs) publishing lending details or if they have plans to do so before the end of the year. We will appreciate any information in this regard.
Thanks a lot in advance!