Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ministries to pay off Myanmar’s foreign debts

Wednesday, 06 February 2013 14:29 Saw Zin Nyi

Myanmar’s Finance and Revenue Minister Win Shein has said that government ministries will be responsible for paying off the country’s foreign debts.

Finance and Revenue Minister Win Shein speaks about Myanmar's foreign debt at a meeting between ministers and the media held at the Industry Ministry in Naypyitaw on February 3, 2013. (Photo: Ye Min / Mizzima)

Myanmar owes more than US $9.6 billion in arrears to the international community, including the World Bank, the Asia Development Bank and the Paris Club, explained Win Shein.

He said that the Finance and Revenue Ministry had divided the debt into loans acquired before 1988 and loans acquired after that year. He said that most of the loans received after 1988 were from China.

“The loans we received in the post-1988 period come to a total of more than $3.656 billion, most of which were received from China – some $3.31903 billion,” he said.

Among the 11 creditors of Myanmar, the Paris Club has agreed to cancel 50 percent of arrears, according to Minister Soe Thein, the chairman of the Investment Commission.

Norway canceled 100 percent of the $534 million debt owed by Myanmar, and similarly, Japan cancelled around 60 percent of Myanmar's debts. The other nine countries have each agreed to cancel some parts or percentages of Myanmar’s debts.

On February 2, Minister Thura Aung Ko told Mizzima that some of the loans date back to Myanmar independence in 1948, some 65 years.

“[Myanmar] still owes money from loans acquired after it gained independence,” he said. “Most of the money was spent under the reign of the Burmese Socialist Programme Party.”
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