Antigua & Barbuda: “IMF debt cleared, PetroCaribe debt slashed”

Antigua and Barbuda has taken steps to clear off the last of an E.C. $320 million IMF loan.

This was announced by Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Tuesday, a day before the country goes to the polls.
The IMF loan is one the ABLP government had inherited from the previous UPP administration.

“Today I am pleased to confirm that we have given instructions to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank today to make the final payment to the IMF. It’s a payment of E.C. $12 million which will retire that $320- million-dollar loan in its entirety.

“It means therefore that from today we will no longer be indebted to the IMF and that would have signalled to the international community and to investors that the Antiguan economy is strong.”

According to the PM, the economy has grown by more than 20 percent since his ABLP took office in June 2014 and growth is expected to continue.

Browne also called a Venezuelan official in the presence of reporters to confirm that the South American country would be writing off some 50 percent of Antigua and Barbuda’s oil debt under the PetroCaribe arrangement.

“I just spoke to a Venezuelan official who confirmed that a letter will be sent very shortly in which the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will confirm the forgiveness of up to 50 percent of the PetroCaribe debt. Now that debt presently stands at about half a billion dollars.



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