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Zambia’s finance minister has rejected calls from China for the World Bank and other multilateral financial institutions to join the country’s debt restructuring, warning that delays are dragging down the economy, Financial Times reported on Monday.

In an interview with the newspaper, Situmbeko Musokotwane said “time is of the essence” to complete the restructuring of about $13 billion of external debt this year, adding that China’s demands have hampered negotiations to cut loans. suggested that

Citing Musokotwane, the report said, “We are looking for urgent solutions, not discussions that may prolong the problem, so this kind of higher-level discussion is necessary.” Arguments will only make the situation worse,” he said.

Neither the People’s Bank of China nor the Ministry of Finance immediately responded to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Zambia became the first African country to default in the COVID-19 era in 2020, but the restructuring of around $15 billion of external debt with creditors, including China and Eurobond holders, has been a significant one. is late for

Zambia owes nearly $6 billion of its total external debt of $17 billion to Chinese creditors at the end of 2021, according to government data.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and seven other major powers are increasingly frustrated by China’s efforts to rescheduling the debt of countries seeking help. China, meanwhile, argues that multilateral institutions should also be required to accept debt reductions. Zambia rejects China’s call to join World Bank debt restructuring – FT

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