World debt now $199 trillion, says UNCTAD

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EXPERTS are meeting to examine debt management in an increasingly unstable global economy during the UNCTAD’s 10th International Debt Management Conference this week in Geneva.
According to UNCTAD secretary-general Mukhisa Kituyi, over 350 participants, including senior national and international policymakers, debt managers and experts from around the world were meeting in a wake-up of global crisis.
The conference provides a regular forum for sharing experiences and exchanging views between governments, international organizations, academia, the private sector and civil society on current issues in public finance, debt management and debt crisis prevention.


“With a growing mountain of global debt remaining at the heart of a highly fragile worldwide economy, experts are meeting in Geneva at the 10th UNCTAD Debt Management Conference on 23–25 November in a context of heightened alerts about threats to future debt sustainability in many emerging and developing economies,” he said.
According to a report, global debt reached an astounding $199 trillion in 2014, up from $21 trillion in 1984.
Dr Kituyi said while external sovereign debt indicators improved in many poor countries during the 2000s, gradually rising external debt levels would be more difficult to service in a world of falling commodity prices, rising interest rates, currency depreciations and a slowdown in the growth of global gross domestic product.
He said among the key issues to be considered by this year’s conference would include the nature of imminent threats to debt sustainability in emerging and developing economies and the ways in which well-informed and competent debt management, using relevant policy tools, could help prevent debt crises.
“As the international community embarks on the new Development Agenda 2030, the historic finance requirements for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an urgent and essential context for this discussion,” he said.