August 20, 2019

China ready to refinance Papua New Guinea debts

Beijing stands ready to help PNG re-finance its debt and assist with its Budget, it has been revealed.

The Post-Courier contacted the Chinese government after a statement was released on 06 August by the Prime Minister James Marape after meeting with Chinese Ambassador Xue Bing in Port Moresby.


It was reported that Marape’s bid for China to help PNG re-finance its K27 billion(US$7.9 billion) debt which would be led by BPNG and China People’s Bank would be further discussed at the upcoming third China-Pacific Islands countries Economic Cooperation Forum in Samoa in October.

“I also suggested for Chinese investment in the agriculture and fisheries sector, and in particularly establishing down streaming processing plants for products in forestry, fisheries, mining and petroleum, and general food production and supply in PNG,” Marape said.

Ambassador Bing then invited Marape to attend the Samoa forum in October and agreed in principle to attend but would advise of his availability. Soon after this statement, Marape back-flipped and released a statement that this report was “fake” news that had been “racked up”.

“So it is misreporting and false that I am going one way to China with request for K27 billion loan, we rather discuss trade with them then continual or further loan,” he said.

“No more unnecessary loans except to refinance our expensive loans and for key enabling economic infrastructures in regional economies.”

But reports from Beijing this week indicated that the Chinese Bank and the Chinese government are ready to help PNG “as always” and would further discuss this when PNG sends an official and diplomatic note to their respective offices.

Beijing officials noted that the PNG delegation attending the Investment Summit in Sydney, Australia, had asked Australia for a A$1.5 billion to help with its Budget.

“We will be ready to assist PNG,” the Chinese said.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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