Development Finance and Debt Sustainability

April 11 – October 7, 2022


Breakout Session #1
​11:00 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.

Meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) will require investment estimated in the trillions of dollars, with infrastructure investment comprising a large segment of that need. While current revenues and domestic sources can finance a portion of the needed investment, much of it, especially in low-income developing countries, will be financed by external, often official sector creditors. How much debt is “too much” depends on a variety of factors, not least the macroeconomic environment, the quality of institutions and legal framework in the borrowing country, the return on investment, and the willingness of creditors to lend.
Against the backdrop of record levels of indebtedness globally, how do creditors – both official and private sector – determine the creditworthiness of a sovereign borrower and individual projects? How do recipient countries assess the returns of a given investment? What is the role of credit enhancements? And what efforts are underway to boost project transparency, including debt statistics and project financing terms?
This panel of experts will examine these issues, taking into account the various perspectives of recipient countries, official donors, as well as the private sector.


Cesar Arias
Cesar Arias is the Director of Public Credit at the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda) of Colombia. Before this, Mr. Arias was the Director of Global Market Research at Deutsche Bank Securities. Previously, he was also the Director of Sovereign Ratings of Latin America at Fitch Ratings, research officer of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and had worked as a specialist in the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC. Mr. Arias received his bachelor's degree in Government and International Relations at the Universidad Externado de Colombia and has a master's degree in Public Administration from the Columbia University of New York.

Mark Flanagan
Mark Flanagan is Assistant Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department (SPR). Since joining the IMF in 1998, he has worked on countries in Africa, South Asia, and Europe, where he was mission chief for Iceland, and deputy mission chief to Ukraine and Greece. Since 2015, he has been the Division Chief for SPR’s Debt Policy Division, leading work on debt analysis and debt transparency issues, and overseeing the reform of the IMF’s debt sustainability frameworks.

Sonja Gibbs
Sonja Gibbs is Managing Director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Institute for International Finance (IIF). Her research interests include global trade and capital flows, systemic risks in financial markets, banking sector analysis, emerging/frontier markets, and investing in infrastructure and green finance. Her work on policy includes issues related to the G20 and the international financial institutions. She co-authors a number of regular IIF publications including the Weekly Insight, the monthly Capital Markets Monitor, and the quarterly Capital Flows to Emerging Markets. Sonja has spent over 20 years in banking and financial markets, most recently with Nomura International in London, where she was Chief Equity Strategist. Previously she was Head of East European Economics and Senior European Bond Analyst, also for Nomura. Earlier positions included stints as a bank credit analyst and U.S. economist for First Interstate Bank Los Angeles, and IBJ New York. She has taught undergraduate microeconomics at U.C. Berkeley, and spent several years as a researcher with the Berkeley-Stanford Program on Soviet International Behavior.

Dr. Naoyuki Yoshino
Naoyuki Yoshino is Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and Professor Emeritus at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. He obtained his PhD from Johns Hopkins University (United States) in 1979 where his thesis supervisor was Sir Alan Walters, economic adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Dr. Yoshino has been a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States) and a visiting professor at various universities including the University of New South Wales (Australia), Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (France), and University of Gothenburg (Sweden). He has also been an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and an economics professor at Keio University.
Dr. Yoshino’s professional career includes membership in numerous government committees. He was named Director of the Japan Financial Services Agency's (FSA) Financial Research Center (FSA Institute) in 2004 and is now Chief Advisor. He was appointed as Chair of the Financial Planning Standards Board in 2007. He has served as Chairperson of the Japanese Ministry of Finance's Council on Foreign Exchange as well as its Fiscal System Council (Fiscal Investment and Loan Program Section). Additionally, he has been a Board Member of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan and President of the Financial System Council of the Government of Japan.

Moderator: Stephanie Segal
Stephanie Segal is deputy director and senior fellow of the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy. Previously, she served as codirector of the East Asia Office at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Prior to Treasury, she was senior economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she covered a range of emerging market and advanced country economies. Earlier in her career, Ms. Segal served as an economist in the Western Hemisphere, Southeast Asia, and International Monetary Policy offices at Treasury; as an adviser to the U.S. director at the IMF; and as an analyst and then associate in Mergers & Acquisitions at J.P. Morgan in New York. She earned her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.