Norway strikes Myanmar debt / News / The Foreigner

Norway strikes Myanmar debt. The government has cancelled Myanmar’s entire NOK 3.2 billion (about USD 578.14 million) debt just over one year after revoking sanctions. "It’s historic for both Myanmar and Norway,” International Development Minister Heikki Holmås declares in a statement, “we’ve never annulled this much of a developing country’s debt before.” Norway announced its decision at Paris Club meeting in the French capital last week. The Financial Times (FT) reports negotiations took 19 hours.

norwayburma, myanmardebtcancelnorway



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Norway strikes Myanmar debt

Published on Monday, 28th January, 2013 at 13:28 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

The government has cancelled Myanmar’s entire NOK 3.2 billion (about USD 578.14 million) debt just over one year after revoking sanctions.

Myanmar visit 2011
Myanmar visit 2011
Photo: Joon Grane Hetland/Ministry of Foreign Affairs


"It’s historic for both Myanmar and Norway,” International Development Minister Heikki Holmås declares in a statement, “we’ve never annulled this much of a developing country’s debt before.”

Norway announced its decision at Paris Club meeting in the French capital last week. The Financial Times (FT) reports negotiations took 19 hours.

The Scandinavian country has also abolished its specific embargoes against Myanmar, and eased trade further. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre visited the country last year.

Talks with Le Club de Paris are conditional upon debtor countries paying their multilateral arrears. This is to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in Myanmar’s case.

Member country representatives from the Austrian, Canadian, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, and British governments were also present at the meeting. Japan agreed to cancel about USD 2.97 billion (NOK 16.5 billion).

Moreover, the International Development Association (IDA), the Secretariat of the UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development), and observers from the governments of Australia, Belgium, Korea, the Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America attended.

Norway’s Minister Heikki Holmås states the last hours of the meeting were “dramatic, as it became clear the negotiations were heading for collapse.”

“The role played by Norway was decisive. Our contribution with complete debt cancellation saved the talks. It was an important moment for Myanmar’s inhabitants,” he says.

Zaw Oo, a leading Myanmar economist part of the negotiating team in Paris, tells the FT that, “Japan and Norway’s moves were vital in helping the Paris Club reach a relatively quick agreement, but the international financial institutions were crucial in convincing creditors that our reforms are genuine and are proceeding.”

Le Club de Paris describes themselves as “an informal group of official creditors whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.”

According to Minister Holmås the international deal, involving a USD 5,925 million debt cancellation, total, means striking 50 percent, with a restructuring of the other 50.

Norway’s move, which follows freed 1991 Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech in Oslo in June 2012, is subject to Parliament’s approval.



Published on Monday, 28th January, 2013 at 13:28 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: norwayburma, myanmardebtcancelnorway.





  
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