World Bank agrees major deal on debt
Sunday 27 January 2013
A long-awaited deal to allow Burma to clear part of its huge decades-old foreign debt was announced by the World Bank today, opening the door for new much-needed lending to jump-start its lagging economy.
The bank’s Washington headquarters announced in a statement that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the country’s overseas development bank, will provide a bridge loan to Burma to allow it to cover outstanding debt to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which totals about $900m.
Burma stopped payments on its old loans in about 1987, making it ineligible for new development lending.
The deal is a major breakthrough for Burma, with loans likely to go to upgrading its dilapidated infrastructure, including electricity and ports. The knock-on effect would be to bring in more foreign direct investment, already attracted by the country’s relatively low-cost economy.
The deal is also likely to draw criticism, because it comes as Burma’s army is pushing hard against ethnic Kachin rebels in the country’s north, in an echo of the notorious counter-insurgency campaigns of previous military regimes.
A former general, Thein Sein, became the elected President in 2011 and began reversing almost five decades of military repression by instituting political and economic reforms.
He won the substantial easing of economic and political sanctions imposed against the junta by the United States and other nations.
But some pro-democracy activists say his administration has been rewarded too much, too fast, allowing some abuses to continue, such as repression of ethnic minorities.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister wears suit with pinstripes that spell his name to meet Barack Obama
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...