Zim targets new capital

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa says the agreement between Zimbabwe and international lenders on the repayment of the country’s $1,8 billion arrears will pave way for long-term financing to Zimbabwe.

The Treasury chief, who attended the IMF convention in Lima, Peru which ended yesterday, is optimistic that the debt-repayment deal will result in the unlocking of new capital for investment-starved Zimbabwe.

“This will lead to the development of a new Comprehensive Country Financing Programme supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), that attracts long-term financing to promote growth and debt sustainability,” Chinamasa said.

While market watchers and economic experts say financial institutions are barred by law from extending loans to Zimbabwe because of its outstanding debts, Zimbabwe’s commitment to a repayment plan paves way for financing.

The country last week came to a consensus with its creditors on an arrears repayment strategy which entails the clearance of the country’s $1,8 billion outstanding amount by April 2016.

Chinamasa said the strategy was for Zimbabwe’s three preferred creditors – the IMF, WB and AfDB.

He added that the plan involved engagement of the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Paris Club and non-Paris Club bilateral creditors for debt resolution, on the strength of the country’s performance in its first round of arrears clearance.

He said the road map to clear arrears to the IFIs allowed for time for the financiers to develop a new financing programme for Zimbabwe.

The strategy that was presented by government was developed by a committee constituted by government in April 2015 chaired by the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe John Mangudya with participation of the ministry of Finance and the three preferred creditor’s representatives in the country.

Prior to the Lima meeting, a government delegation led by the chair of the committee, Mangudya, visited the same European capitals September 21-25, 2015, to meet with some of the country’s creditors, covering Rome, Brussels, Berlin and Paris.

“The objective of the visit was to share with the creditors our Strategy to clear Zimbabwe’s arrears to the three creditors,” Chinamasa said.

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