China supports debt service suspension initiative for poorest countries 

Flags at the Tian'anmen Square and atop the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (File photo)

BEIJING, Apr 17 (INP) Foreign Ministry Spokesperson of China, Zhao Lijian, stated that China supports Debt Service Suspension Initiative for poorest countries.  

He said at regular press conference that “China will, in accordance with the consensus of the G20 on debt relief, help the poorest countries concentrate their efforts on fighting the epidemic and supporting economic and social development.”

According to China Economic Net, early this week, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors online virtual meeting was held which focused on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and its intertwined health, social and economic impacts.

Addressing debt vulnerabilities in low-income countries due to the pandemic, G20 countries support a time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries that request forbearance. 

Minister of Finance of China, Liu Kun, has stated on conference that, China supports Debt Service Suspension Initiative for Poorest Countries and appreciates the G20 consensus for the detailed plan.  

Meanwhile, China will make contributions to this initiative and appeal to multilateral development banks to participate in it as soon as possible. 

According to the regular press conference on 16th, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has responded to it. Zhao Lijian said, “Yesterday (15th), G20 finance ministers and central bank governors discussed and adopted a Debt Service Suspension Initiative for Poorest Countries at a virtual meeting.  

They agreed that both principal repayments and interest payments will be suspended for over 70 countries, starting on May 1st, 2020 until end-2020. They are all least developed countries as defined by the UN and IDA-countries current on debt service, 

Adhering to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and upholding justice while pursuing shared interests, China is committed to providing assistance within its capacity to the poorest countries for their poverty reduction and development.  

Going forward, China will, in accordance with the consensus of the G20 on debt relief, help the poorest countries concentrate their efforts on fighting the epidemic and supporting economic and social development, and continue to actively participate in international anti-epidemic cooperation through other multilateral and bilateral channels. 

China calls on multilateral and private creditors to promptly take actions to participate in the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for Poorest Countries and jointly help them tide over the difficulties.”

On Thursday, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Pakistan is expected to get debt relief from the 1st of May.

Regarding the decision of G-20 countries and IMF to provide debt relief to the developing countries, Qureshi said about seventy countries including Pakistan will benefit from it which will be for a period of one year.

Qureshi said Pakistan is expected to get a major relief from IMF. He recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan had appealed to the world leaders and institutions to restructure loans of the developing countries to cope with the coronavirus challenge. 

The initiative will enable the developing countries to divert their resources to the protection of lives of the people and make their health systems more effective to respond to the challenge, Qureshi added, this appeal of the PM was endorsed by the UN Secretary General, the IMF and the G-20 countries.
 

INP/JAVED