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Debts: Burma

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when Burma last repaid debt owed to the UK Government; what recent steps the Government have taken to recover debt owed by Burma; and what legal options are available to the Government to recover debt owed by Burma. (141625)

ECGD—the Export Credits Guarantee Department—has unrecovered claims totalling £22.9 million in respect of seven contracts in the power, textile and water sectors on which claims were paid to UK banks/exporters between 1988 and 1998. There have been no recoveries since 1990.

The UK also has two outstanding aid loans amounting to £1.06 million that are managed by the World Bank. These represent the UK's share of co-funded loans from the EU. The loans reverted to bilateral status in 2005. These loans are not currently being serviced by Burma.

Given the economic and political situation in the country, HMG does not consider that legal action would be appropriate.