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Suriname to Continue Debt Talks With China in Early November

Suriname received a counter to its proposal to China regarding bilateral debt negotiations, Suriname’s Foreign Affairs Minister said on Saturday, adding that he will travel to Beijing in early November to continue talks.

Foreign Minister Albert Ramdin said he will travel to China on November 5 and “I will have talks a few days after in Beijing with some of the authorities including with regard to this issue.”

“There has been some progress on dealing with debt accumulation in 2024, but we would also like to have clarity on payments after 2024 so those (issues) will again be addressed in another proposal,” Ramdin said.

The International Monetary Fund said Friday it is optimistic that the bilateral dialogue would lead to a debt agreement aligned with terms offered to other official creditors.

“For us it’s very important that that agreement is built in comparable terms,” Rodrigo Valdes, head of the fund’s Western Hemisphere Department (WHD) told Reuters on Friday.

“This is very important for the next review… and the (IMF) board was very clear that they want this matter solved.”

Ramdin said Saturday that Suriname wants to “make sure China understands the importance of finalizing this, including politically.”

He said maturities have been an issue in the negotiation, as they “have a bit of a longer period than China would like to have.”

Last week, Malty Dwarkasing, the administrator general at the Suriname Debt Management Office, said Suriname is “not asking for a nominal haircut to bilateral creditors. We do ask for some interest rate relief and a spread of debt service.”

“Basically we’ve already had that from China. They have accommodated us,” Dwarkasing said last week.

The IMF board cleared late last month the third review of its over $600 million IMF program for Suriname, granting the government’s request for a waiver of non-compliance based on measures already taken.

The South American nation reached a deal with private bondholders in May.

Source: Market Screener