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Hichilema raises hope of final resolution of debt crisis, confirms signing deal with China, India


President Hakainde Hichilema has announced that Zambia has signed a long-awaited official creditor agreement with China and India and was now negotiating with private creditors.

Zambia had struggled to revive its debt restructuring process after a deal to rework US$3 billion of Eurobonds was rejected by its official creditors.

Reuters reported that China and other official creditors did not believe that it offered comparable debt relief to that of bondholders.

Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane on Friday said the government was trying to clarify the meaning of “comparable treatment” with bondholders.

Hichilema on Saturday during the Nc’wala ceremony of the Ngoni speaking people of Eastern Province said the two nations had now signed the agreement.

Read More: Zambia suffers major setback in debt restructuring process, Reuters reports

“On the official creditors’ side, the last two countries that had not signed, China and India, have now signed,” he stated.

The President said Zambia was now turning to the private creditors in a bid to address the debt issue.

Hichilema noted that Zambia defaulted on its foreign debts in November 2020 and that its restructuring had been beset by delays.

He said Zambia was using the Common Framework, a process set up in response to COVID-19 by the G20, to bring in China, India and other bilateral creditors that were not members of the Paris Club of creditor nations.

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