Japan to push for Myanmar debt relief at IMF meet

Bloomberg

Japan wants to forge an agreement on settling Myanmar’s debt burden, with talks to take place when officials from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meet in Tokyo next month.

“We’d like to discuss how to establish a path for resolving Myanmar’s overdue debt,” Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Friday. Myanmar “would be freed from one of its economic restraints,” he said.

Japan, Myanmar’s biggest creditor, forgave $3.7 billion of Myanmar’s debt in April as a shift toward democracy encouraged developed countries to re-engage the nation after five decades of military dictatorship.

Azumi said Friday that Japan wanted to support the political changes in the country and also pave the way for Japanese companies to move in.

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank are in talks with Myanmar’s leaders to settle about $900 million in overdue debt, a move that would bring them closer to resuming lending.

The Tokyo meeting will start Oct. 11.