Friday, June 14, 2024

Maldives talking debt restructuring with Beijing, says China ambassador – Times of India

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MALE: Days after IMF warned Maldives of “high risk of external and overall debt distress”, China – the largest creditor – has said discussions are being held with Male on providing some relief in debt repayment on the loans it took from Beijing.
Wang Lixin, Chinese ambassador to the Maldives, however, maintained that debt restructuring is not the solution because it would obstruct Maldives from seeking further financial aid from Beijing, according to a report in news portal on Friday.Wang also revealed that a technical team from both China and the Maldives was taking charge of the issue, portal added.
A report from the IMF on May 13 said Maldives’ external public and publicly guaranteed (PPG) debt – which is predominantly owed to bilateral and commercial creditors – stood at $3,072 million (or 49% of GDP) in 2022, up from $3,046 million in 2021 in nominal terms. China is the largest creditor to the Maldives with 19% of the total (external) PPG debt.
Wang said her country does not wish for Maldives’ debt to rise further and hence, China will prioritise grants and free aid. Interestingly, the remarks came days after India extended, as a goodwill gesture, budgetary support to Maldives with a rollover of $50 million treasury bill for another year after a special request from the Male govt.

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