By AARON CHIYANZO
BRAZIL and Zambia have finally signed a US$90.7 million debt write-off, 12 years after the 2005 Paris Club Agreement and six years after the bilateral agreement.
Before the debt write-off was executed, Zambia owed the South American economic giant a consolidated amount of US$113. 4 million of which 80 percent has now been written-off.
Speaking after the signing ceremony at the Brazilian Ministry of Finance headquarters, Finance Minister, Felix Mutati said the US$ 22.7 million debt which represents two per cent was rescheduled for repayment in two equal instalments to be paid by March, 2018.
Mr Mutati said that the savings from what would have been full debt repayment would be channeled to support the implementation of poverty reduction programmes outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
“We are very grateful to Brazil for concluding a process that started way back in 2005,” he stated, adding that, “this agreement will reinforce the relationship between Brazil and Zambia,” Mr Mutati said.
Meanwhile, Brazilian vice minister of finance, Marcello Estevao said that the parties’ debt write-off and debt rescheduling agreement was a great start to a new phase of development cooperation between Brazil and Zambia. Dr Estevao stated that after suffering stagnation, his country was now undertaking structural reforms which had redirected the Brazilian economy to a recovery path with growth projected at three percent.