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Guyana, Bulgaria sign debt write-off agreement

From left to right: Dr. Petar Chobanov, Bulgaria’s Minister of Finance, Clyde Roopchand, Chief Planning Officer within Guyana’s Ministry of Finance and Guyana’s Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh signing in the board room at the World Bank in Washington DC.

Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh on Saturday signed a bilateral debt relief agreement to cancel just over US$2.9M of Guyana’s debt owed to Bulgaria.

The agreement will be effective from December 31, 2012. A balance of approximately US$322,578 would be rescheduled and repaid over a three year period. “The funds saved under this agreement will be used to assist Guyana in enhancing economic growth and alleviating poverty,” Minister Singh said at the signing.

The Minister further expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the Government and People of Guyana for the generosity and support from the Government and People of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Petar Chobanov, signed the agreement with Minister Singh on the margins of the Annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank which are currently taking place in Washington DC. “Guyana looks forward to the continued friendly relationship and future cooperation with the Government and people of Bulgaria,” Minister Singh said. “This Agreement represents a step towards greater cooperation and the strengthening of the cordial friendship between the two countries.”

The debt write-off was facilitated by the Paris Club, which is an informal group of official creditors aimed at facilitating debt treatment options to countries like Guyana.

Guyana’s debt to Bulgaria resulted from an Intergovernmental Barter Protocol that was signed on June 10, 1984 in Varna, Bulgaria, which facilitated trade between the two countries during the early 1980’s.

With the conclusion of this debt relief agreement, the Government of Bulgaria recognises Guyana’s attainment of Completion Point under the enhanced HIPC initiative in 2003 and the subsequent Agreed Minute signed with the Paris Club in 2004 for the delivery of debt relief by Guyana’s creditors.