The campaign group urged Boris Johnson to take advantage of this year’s G7 chairmanship to insist that British banks join the global push to alleviate the debt crisis in the new developing world.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) says the UK has a special responsibility to act, releasing new figures showing that London-based banks are the largest owners of debt issued by poor countries.
With steps taken in New York to make debt restructuring easier, the JDC said the UK is the most important country when it comes to unblocking multilateral debt relief efforts.
World Bank Chairman David Malpass has urged private lenders to voluntarily participate in a debt halt plan organized by the G20 Group, a leader in developed and emerging markets, but so far no one has joined.
Q & What is AG7?
Meeting regularly since 1976, the G7 is made up of 7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. Among them, the country represents about half of the world’s GDP, and the main purpose of the group is to provide a forum for discussing global economic stability. The first meeting began with a series of summits to address the oil crisis in 1973.
The G7 Summit is held annually and the host country takes turns between its members. Summits are usually attended by leaders, finance ministers, and central bank governors. Representatives from seven countries as well as European Union leaders and international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank will attend the meeting. In addition to the eye-catching summits, the G7 Finance Minister also meets regularly several times a year.
Between 1998 and 2014, the group became known as G8, and Russia was also included in its member states. However, Russia was deported in 2014 due to the annexation of Crimea.
Tim Jones, Policy Director at the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: It is unfair for private lenders to continue to receive full payments when other lenders stop paying their debts. Low-income countries are spending $144 million. [102m] A day on debt repayment.
Private lenders must adhere to international debt relief efforts to ensure that poor countries have the resources they need to tackle and recover from the Covid crisis and take multilateral action on debt relief. As the country with the greatest responsibility for private lending, the UK should take advantage of the G7’s presidency this year to block private participation in debt relief.
JDC’s figures show that out of 73 countries eligible for debt relief under the G20 initiative that began in the early stages of the Corona 19 epidemic, 30% of debt is owed to private lenders in the UK. In contrast, 18% owed to Chinese private loans and 7% to American companies.
So far, Chad, Ethiopia, and Zambia are the only three countries that have applied for the G20’s new common framework for debt restructuring, which requires debtors to request the same restructuring as the government from private lenders.
The JDC said that the majority of debt repayments in Chad, Ethiopia and Zambia are paid to private lenders, with 33% of UK companies, 23% of Chinese companies and 15% of US companies. However, the G20 government has failed to provide a mechanism for debtors to participate in private lenders.
The campaign group said the figures are for debts owed to private loans other than bonds, which generally take the form of commercial loans. However, previous studies have shown that 90% of bonds owed by countries eligible for the G20 initiative are governed by British law, up to 100% for Ethiopian and Zambian international bonds. Chad is not owed by bonds.
The JDC has calculated that debt repayment in developing countries in 2020 has reached its highest level since 2001. This more than doubled from 6.7% of government revenue in 2010 to 14.3% in 2020. When the Covid crisis began, 64 countries spent more on repaying external debt. Than medical.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance said: The UK is a long-time supporter of low-income developing countries and recognizes the challenges facing the Covid-19 pandemic. The prime minister, who chaired the first G7 Finance Ministers’ meeting last week, urged private sector creditors to do their best to ensure sustainable debt handling for the poorest countries and pave the way for a truly global recovery.
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