G7 backs extension of G20 bilateral debt freeze, calls for more reforms

Topics G7 | G7 summit

G7 finance ministers on Friday backed an extension of a G20 bilateral debt relief initiative for the world's poorest countries, but said it must be revised to address shortcomings hindering its implementation.

 

In a lengthy joint statement, the ministers from the Group of Seven advanced economies — after an online meeting hosted by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — said they “strongly regret” moves by some countries to skip participation by classifying their state-owned institutions as commercial lenders.

 

Two officials from G7 countries said the reference was clearly targeted at China, which has refused to include loans by the state-owned China Development Bank and other government-controlled entities in its official bilateral debt totals when dealing with countries seeking debt relief.

 

The ministers acknowledged some nations will need further debt relief going forward, and urged the Group of 20 major economies and Paris Club creditors to agree on terms by next month's meeting of G20 finance ministers. “Everyone was disappointed by China’s lack of transparency and commitment,” said an official.  



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