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Covid-19: Debt Owed by Developing Countries

Volume 690: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2021

What recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on requiring private creditors to cancel debt owed by developing countries during the covid-19 pandemic. (913166)

The Chancellor regularly engages with his international partners in the G7, G20 and the Paris Club on debt issues, including private sector participation in debt restructurings, and Treasury officials are also engaging with the private sector on this issue.

As the Government slash international aid, covid-19 could push up to 150 million people globally into extreme poverty, yet many banks and asset managers operating in the UK, including HSBC, BlackRock and J.P. Morgan, continue to demand debt repayments from developing countries, leaving them with less money to respond to covid-19. Will the Government urgently introduce new legislation to prevent developing countries from being sued in UK courts by banks, asset managers and vulture funds if they are unable to pay their debts as a result of the pandemic?

I note the hon. Lady’s long-standing interest in this subject, but I want to state clearly that the Government support the role of the low-income developing countries to be supported by the UK’s G7 presidency. We have made clear our expectation that the private sector and the firms she mentioned will offer debt treatment on at least as favourable terms as the official sector, under the common framework, as agreed by the G20 last November.