Previous Global Government Finance Summits

Although the event is held under the Chatham House rule and some of the discussions are too sensitive to put into the public domain, many of the ideas and solutions that emerge may be of value to civil servants around the world. So Global Government Forum has sought delegates’ permission to use specific quotes, producing this report to help public servants understand and address some of the issues and agendas facing the world’s finance ministries.

Summit reports


Took place in Berlin on 27 & 28 April 2018.


Took place in London on 19 & 20 May 2017, hosted by Tom Scholar, permanent secretary, HM Treasury.


Hosted in Singapore by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance in April 2016, this second annual event was attended by high-ranking civil servants from nine countries, along with representatives from knowledge partner EY and event organiser Global Government Forum.

The discussions covered five key challenges facing finance departments around the world:

  • Fiscal sustainability: the need to balance income and expenditure, in an environment of slow global economic growth and demographic changes that boost demand for public services;
  • Infrastructure investment: how to attract the finance and skills to develop national
    infrastructures, and ways to mitigate attendant long-term fiscal risks;
  • Public sector productivity: the factors that hamper productivity in public services, and
    the tools that can improve it;
  • Digitisation and data: the use of digital technologies and ‘big data’ to boost efficiency,
    improve public services and policymaking, and meet citizens’ needs;
  • The future of finance ministries: the roles and remits of government finance departments, and the tools and techniques that can improve their planning and operations.

This was an unprecedented event. There are a lot of international fora but what’s valuable about this event is that it focuses on public sector fiscal and public service reform and broader issues in an informal setting, where there can be a genuine dialogue as opposed to lots of formal speeches.

This event brought people together from emerging as well as developed economies – people from Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe; it was very positive.”
Lord Nicholas Macpherson, permanent secretary of the UK Treasury 2005 – 20016


Hosted in Singapore by Mr Peter Ong, permanent secretary for its finance ministry in April 2015, the event was attended by senior officials from 14 countries across four continents, with representatives of CIPFA International and knowledge partner EY.

During the meeting, discussions covered the following topics:

  • Common challenges that finance ministries are facing
  • Improving effectiveness and efficiency of public expenditure
  • Challenges of public finance management
  • 7 Institutional reforms that changed the UK’s fiscal landscape
  • How Iceland recovered from its global financial crisis
  • Performance budgeting in New Zealand
  • How Singapore is harnessing the wonders of technology

Useful insights of practices that work in other countries. Sharing discussions are candid which is very helpful.”
Lim Soo Hoon, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Singapore

2016 photo gallery

2015 photo gallery