CHINESE LOANS PAID ON TIME
ZAMBIA has contracted about US$ 2.2 billion concessional and commercial debt from China on which government has never defaulted, Ministry of Finance spokesman Chileshe Kandeta has disclosed.
Mr Kandeta, who is head of media and public relations, said the debt owed to China had been grossly misrepresented on several occasions despite government having repeatedly explained to Zambians, co-operating partners and investors that the debt comprised concessional and commercial loans on which Zambia had not defaulted.
He said in a statement that the US$ 2.2 billion formed 25 per cent of the US$ 8.7 billion total external debt that Zambia owed as at the end of December 2017.
“We have on several occasions restated to our citizens, cooperating partners and investors that the issues of debt from China have been grossly misrepresented. The fact is that Zambia has contracted both concessional and commercial debt from the world’s second biggest economy and we have not defaulted on any,” Mr Kandeta said.
He reiterated that the implementation of asset liability management strategy on Zambia’s Eurobonds and for the loans from China was a prudent option that was open to the country and would be undertaken as and when the need and opportunity arose.
“As previously indicated by the Minister of Finance Ms Margaret Mwanakatwe, at the end of December 2017, Zambia’s debt was: external debt – US$8.7billion; domestic debt – K48.4billion; and domestic arrears – K12.7billion,” Mr Kandeta said.
He added that Zambia had not defaulted on any foreign debt including Eurobond interest payments and did not intend to default for whatever reason.