Debt Transparency in Developing Economies

Author(s): World Bank Group
Publication Number: ECES-SB180
Issued in: 2021

Analyzing public debt in low-income developing countries (LIDCs) is like solving a puzzle with many missing pieces. Forty percent of LIDCs have not published any sovereign debt data in the last two years. Public debt data disclosed in different publications show discrepancies of up to 30 percent of GDP across sources, and relative to the records of relevant authorities. Over 15 LIDCs have outstanding collateralized debt but no details of the collateralization are provided in official statistics. Restructuring of bilateral and commercial debt is often handled privately. All these problems have different origins and implications. Yet, they all amount to a lack of transparency.

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