Botswana: China Writes Off Loans

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Gaborone — The Embassy of the People's Republic of China has exempted the government of Botswana from payment of the three interest free loans amounting to a total of RMB Y52.993,400 approximately P80 404 058.

A press release from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development says the government of Botswana and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China signed the exemption protocol on August 22.

Signing on behalf of the government of Botswana was Minister Kenneth Matambo and while for the Embassy of the People's Republic of China was Ambassador Zhao Yanbo.

It says the exemption is in line with the undertaking during the forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit held in Johannesburg in December 2015.

The release states that the amount covers loans that were extended to Botswana to finance the railway rehabilitation project and two which financed the multi-purpose youth center.

It further states that in his remarks during the signing ceremony, Mr Matambo says the exemption from payment will lessen Botswana's debt burden and allow the government to undertake other priority development projects in the National Development Plan.

"Minister Matambo asserted that, Botswana government appreciates the long standing cooperation with the Chinese government through the extension of both grants and concession loans", reads the release.

Mr Matambo said the continued cooperation was demonstrated further by the submission by the government of Botswana of projects in the transport sector, the proposed signing of a Letter of Exchange for the construction of the Kazungula Primary School and also an agreement on Economic and Technical cooperation for a grant amounting to RMB Y200 million, which would be signed during the upcoming FOCAC Summit in September in China.

The release says both countries reaffirmed their commitment in working together for the betterment of their respective countries.

Source : BOPA

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