The IMF’s Caucasus, Central Asia, and Mongolia Regional Capacity Development Center (CCAMTAC), Singapore Training Institute (STI), and Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) joined forces with the Joint Vienna Institute (JVI) to deliver a virtual workshop on projecting public debt and fiscal adjustment paths during March 15–24, 2021. CCAMTAC is the newest addition to the IMF’s global network of capacity development centers delivering technical assistance, TA-related training and peer-learning activities. CCAMTAC will complement the training and other capacity development activities offered by the JVI (Caucasus and Central Asia) and the STI (Mongolia), with its focus on technical assistance. Close coordination and collaboration between these institutions, like during this first joint workshop, will help unlock synergies between training and technical assistance and move towards more integrated capacity development support.
The substantial increase in public debt in many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic raises important questions related to the outlook for debt dynamics, associated fiscal risks, and the appropriate medium-term economic policy response. To analyze debt dynamics and fiscal adjustment strategies thus was highly topical for the 36 participants from central banks and ministries of finance of Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The workshop focused on the key concepts underpinning public debt dynamics and hands-on application of a newly developed IMF Excel-based tool to the participants’ countries. The user-friendliness of the tool and the use of own country data were highly appreciated by the participants. Country presentations of key fiscal challenges served as an important element of peer exchange. In addition, a panel discussion with the IMF Mission Chiefs for Armenia, Georgia and Tajikistan on the role of fiscal policy and debt developments, the major fiscal challenges and fiscal risks in the region provided a welcome opportunity to discuss recent developments.
CCAMTAC is currently planning a series of activities and events geared to establish a peer group in the region, focusing on debt analytics. The JVI’s contribution to this endeavor will include hosting webinars on fiscal transparency and debt sustainability challenges. A follow-up workshop in Vienna is being considered in 2022.
Barbara Dutzler, Senior Economist, JVI