ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Thursday April 28, 2011 – Antigua and Barbuda has reached an agreement on rescheduling a 25-year-old debt to the Government of France and is preparing to sign deals with two other countries.
A brief statement issued by the Caribbean island’s government said France had agreed to a fixed interest rate of 3.1 per cent on theUS$34 million debt, payable over 15 years.
Finance Minister Harold Lovell recently signed the deal with France’s Ambassador to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Michel Prom.
According to the government statement, similar bilateral agreements are to be signed with Brazil and Japan.
France, Brazil and Japan are among six members of the Paris Club – an informal group of financial officials from 19 of some of the world’s biggest economies, which provides financial services such as debt restructuring, debt relief, and debt cancellation to indebted countries and their creditors – which consolidated a huge chunk of Antigua and Barbuda’s debt in September 2010. The other three were the United States, the United Kingdom, and Netherlands
The six agreed to reschedule 90 percent of the total US$133 million debt that Antigua and Barbuda owed them. They also agreed to give the country an ease from making payments for the next seven years.
The following month, Antigua and Barbuda reached an interest free rescheduling agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) for its US$850,000 debt to that organisation.
Another creditor – the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) – also expressed a willingness to reschedule US$22.75 million owed to that institution.
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