Coronavirus cases in Egypt surpass 1,000 milestone    Japan ready to give coronavirus-hit nations anti-flu drug Avigan for free    Norway may slash oil output if top producers also cut: Minister    More than 600 dead in New York state in a day from coronavirus    5G coronavirus conspiracy theory is dangerous fake nonsense, UK says    Egypt's Sisi puts off inauguration of New Administrative Capital, Grand Egyptian Museum to 2021 due to coronavirus concerns    Ahly's coach Weiler refuses to leave Egypt despite coronavirus    Ex-Man Utd striker Berbatov says Liverpool fully deserve title    Arab League chief renews call to stop fighting in Libya    Egypt: gold prices today – April 4    Sawiris Foundation donates 100 million pounds to Egypt's coronavirus battle    Egypt-Sudan joint electricity grid starts operations – ministry    Britain unlikely to lift coronavirus lockdown until end of May: Government expert    Gulf Air says transit open again via Bahrain for international travellers    Egypt shuts main cancer centre after 15 medics test positive for coronavirus    Egypt's Sisi discusses Africa's anti-coronavirus efforts in virtual summit    Age limit could be raised for Olympic football tournament    Trump fires intelligence official involved in his impeachment probe    Amazon to postpone Prime Day sales event due to coronavirus    Egypt's Zamalek to extend Carteron's contract after end of coronavirus    Comedy puppet Abla Fahita returns to screens during Egypt's curfew    J.K. Rowling starts Harry Potter At Home for housebound families    Broadcaster predicts Spain's La Liga restart in July with no fans    Apple to stop taking cut of some Amazon video purchases on App Store    Filling GERD will begin this rainy season: Ethiopian PM    Messi praises Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah's style    Egypt's Supreme Council of Culture launches three new competitions    Freed from detention    Stay at Home: Culture in Your Hands    Captain Khan    Huawei to explore the ultimate potential on its Huawei P40 series    Egypt, MENA growth forecast at 2.7%, -0.3% respectively: IIF    Prosecution warns of EGP 300k fine or 2-year jail for spreading fake coronavirus news    Al-Sisi discusses joint coronavirus efforts with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince    Saudi Arabia intercepts missiles over Riyadh    CBE temporarily regulates cash deposits, withdrawals    Lagging COVID-19 response to shield frail economy: Rouhani    Farwell to Egyptian comedian George Sidhom    Weekend's virtual concerts, plays, and festivals people can stream at home    Amid coronavirus outbreak, Egyptian Premier League cancellation seems inevitable    Brazilian football stadiums transformed into hospitals to treat coronavirus patients    Stay At Home: Ministry of Culture to publish free books online for public browsing    What to watch to kill time in quarantine?    Ethiopia has not sent Egypt latest designs for GERD: Minister of Irrigation    Nigerien President hails Egypt's diplomatic attempts to reach agreement over GERD    Al-Sisi appreciates Kenya's support to Egypt's stance on GERD    Cairo court acquits Mubarak's sons of stock market manipulation    Egypt's President Sisi pardons some prisoners on 25 Jan. Revolution anniversary    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





China seeks to allay fears over Belt and Road debt risks
Published in Ahram Online on 25 - 04 - 2019

China aims to make the Belt and Road initiative sustainable and prevent debt risks, its finance minister said on Thursday, seeking to allay criticism that the infrastructure plan to boost trade and investment creates a heavy burden for some nations.
The policy championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping has become mired in controversy, with some partner nations bemoaning the high cost of projects, though China has repeatedly said it is not seeking to trap anyone with debt.
Western governments have tended to view it as a means to spread Chinese influence abroad, saddling poor countries with unsustainable debt.
Finance minister Liu Kun, speaking at a forum to kick off a three-day Belt and Road summit in Beijing, said China will establish an analysis framework on debt sustainability for Belt and Road projects to "prevent and resolve debt risks".
Chinese financial institutions, countries involved in Belt and Road and international agencies are encouraged to use this framework to enhance debt management, Liu said.
While most of the Belt and Road projects are continuing as planned, some have been caught up by changes in government in countries such as Malaysia and the Maldives.
Those that have been shelved for financial reasons include a power plant in Pakistan and an airport in Sierra Leone, and Beijing has in recent months had to rebuff critics by saying that not one country has been burdened with so-called "debt traps".
Yi Gang, China's central bank governor, said at the same event that local currencies will be used for investments related to the Belt and Road plan to curb exchange rate risks.
China will follow market principles and rely on commercial funds for Belt and Road financing, Yi said, adding that China will improve transparency for those projects.
"We should strengthen debt and risk management. We should objectively and fully understand debt problems of developing countries," he added.
"Investment decisions should ... effectively control risks and fully consider a country's overall debt capacity and ensure debt is sustainable."
In a nod to debt concerns, a draft communique seen by Reuters said that 37 world leaders attending the summit will agree to project financing that respects global debt goals and promotes green growth.

Quality over quantity
Chinese government officials and heads of state-owned enterprises such as China National Petroleum Corp and China Communications Construction Corp told a separate forum that they would pay more attention to environmental conservation and protection.
They also pledged to undertake higher quality projects that would hire more local staff and respond to the needs of recipient countries.
Jose Vinals, chairman of Standard Chartered Bank, said at the forum he hoped to see the initiative focus more on quality and multilateralism, saying that many projects remained bilateral in the sense that they involved the Chinese government and firms dealing directly with recipient countries.
More opportunities have to be given to other countries as well as the private sector to play a role, he said, adding that bilateral engagement tended to have less transparency and lower levels of governance, which in turn could affect the quality of projects.
"It is very important to emphasise project quality over project quantity," he said.

Low- level USA participation
Visiting leaders will be headlined by Russia's Vladimir Putin, as well as Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan, a close China ally and among the biggest recipients of Belt and Road investment, and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, which recently became the first G7 country to sign on to the initiative.
The United States, which has not joined the Belt and Road, is expected to send only lower-level officials, and nobody from Washington, citing concerns over opaque financing practices, poor governance, and disregard for internationally accepted norms.
Washington sent Matt Pottinger, the senior White House official for Asia, to the last Belt and Road summit in 2017.
European officials who attended that summit said then that it would take time to know whether China was going to give foreign companies equal access to projects as their Chinese counterparts.
Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission's vice president for energy who is attending this week's forum, told Reuters that European companies were ready to engage, but still had the same complaints as several years earlier, including that the plan lacks a transparent and open bidding process.
"Our difference is that we want to discuss it. We want to negotiate about it. We want to solve it in a cooperative way," Sefcovic said, referring to the United States downgrading its presence at the forum.
Asked if there was any evidence European companies had more access to Belt and Road projects than two years ago, Sefcovic said: "I'm not sure."


Clic here to read the story from its source.