Debt Relief Package for Myanmar Unusually Generous -ipsnews

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 2013 (IPS) – Nearly 20 of the world’s largest creditor countries have announced that they would be cutting nearly half of Myanmar’s total foreign debt, worth some six billion dollars.

Those countries, which include the United States, United Kingdom and several members of the European Union, are part of the Paris Club, a group of 19 of the world’s largest donors. On Monday, the group stated that its members were aware of Myanmar’s “exceptional situation” and had agreed to a 50-percent cancellation of arrears and a seven-year grace period for the remainder.

On the sidelines, Norway and Japan came to separate agreements to cancel additional debts amounting to around four billion dollars. President Thein Sein, who has overseen more than two years of contested political and economic reforms in Myanmar, had reportedly made debt relief a priority for his administration.

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