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Amid rising government debt levels, higher interest rates, global economic slowdown and heightened geopolitical uncertainty, the risk of public debt distress and debt overhang in developing countries will remain elevated in coming years. At the same time, large financing needs to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate ambitions are adding more pressure on fiscal and debt positions. How developing countries navigate a balancing act between ensuring post-pandemic socioeconomic recovery and pursuing the SDGs, while maintaining public debt sustainability is an important policy consideration.


In this context, ESCAP launched its annual flagship publication “Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2023: Rethinking Public Debt for the SDGs” in April 2023.  The report calls for a significant shift in thinking about leveraging public debt for development gains. This policy dialogue aims to discuss ideas on policy issues and options to deal with sovereign debt distress while keeping in view the SDGs and long-term climate ambitions.

06 Jun 2023
Session 1: Opening


  • Mr. Ganbold Baasanjav (Head, ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office)
Session 2: Rethinking public debt for the Sustainable Development Goals

This session brings together diverse experts and stakeholders to share ideas on how Asia-Pacific governments can attain the SDGs and climate ambitions while maintaining public debt sustainability. Examples of topics include policies to boost fiscal resources, alternative perspectives on public debt sustainability analysis, and domestic and multilateral actions to address the traditional problem of “too little, too late” sovereign debt restructuring.

Overall Moderator

  • Ms. Xiaohui Hou, Deputy Head, ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office

Presentations [15 mins each]

  • Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2023: Highlights for East and North-East Asia

          - Ms. Lin Zhuo (Economic Affairs Officer, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division, ESCAP)

  • Rethinking Public Debt for the Sustainable Development Goals

          - Mr. Dowan Kim (Economist, Macroeconomics Team, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea)

          - Mr. Ergys Islamaj (Senior Economist, East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Office, World Bank)

          - Mr. Khashchuluu D. (Debt Management Division, Financial Policy Department, Ministry of Finance, Mongolia)

Session 3: Discussion and Q&A

for more information, please contact

Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia +82-32-458-6600 [email protected]
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