US press to expedite normal G20 debt restructuring process
WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – The United States is calling for rapid progress on restructuring highly indebted countries under a common framework agreed last year by the Group of 20 economies and the Paris Club, a high-ranking Treasury Department official.
Notably, G20 member China was delayed in some cases, the official told reporters ahead of a meeting of the group’s health and finance ministers in Rome on Friday.
“The general framework process is progressing slowly due to China’s inability to make certain decisions about some member states,” the official said. “That’s why we urge that the processes be expedited.”
The official said G20 members understand that some countries will need additional help after a temporary pause in debt payments ends later this year, but they are supportive of a debt freeze under the general framework proposed by the World Bank president. not expected to do. David Malpass.
When the debt freeze ends, countries’ debt service payments will be rescheduled in future and not due all at once, the official said.
The World Bank warned this month that the world’s low-income countries’ debt burden rose 12% to a record $860 billion in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and called for urgent efforts to reduce debt levels. called upon.
The US official said Washington supports the expansion of the Common Framework – which currently includes only Chad, Zambia and Ethiopia – beyond the poorest countries, and urged immediate measures to accelerate the pace of talks.
“The focus of the G20 has been on the Common Framework and trying to make it operational and more efficient,” the official said. (Reporting by Andrea Schallal and David Lauder; Editing in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)
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