Group of Seven finance ministers today called for full implementation of a G20 freeze in debt service payments by all official bilateral creditors and adherence to debt data transparency standards, a US Treasury spokesperson said in a statement.
In a teleconference held early today, the G7 ministers also discussed domestic and international economic responses to the coronavirus pandemic and strategies to achieve a robust global recovery, a Treasury statement said.
In addressing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative offered to the world’s 73 poorest countries through the end of the year, the ministers discussed the need for China, a G20 member and major creditor, to participate fully and transparently, a senior administration official said.
“It’s key, both to realising the full potential of the DSSI and from a transparency perspective,” the official said.
The International Chamber of Commerce, the International Trade Union Confederation and a major civil society group today urged G20 members to extend and expand a freeze in debt service payments.
So far, 41 countries have applied for relief under the DSSI and the Paris Club has signed agreements with 20 countries ranging from Ivory Coast to Ethiopia and Pakistan.
World Bank President David Malpass last week backed an extension of the debt payment freeze through 2021 and said some heavily indebted countries would need debt forgiveness to avert a longer “poverty trap.”
Malpass emphasised the need for increased transparency about lending and said all official bilateral creditors, including policy banks such as China’s Development Bank, and state-owned enterprises with implicit government guarantees should take part. — REUTERS