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2020年11月20日 来源:国际经济关系司

  2020年11月21日至22日,G20将举行领导人第十五次峰会。作为今年G20财金渠道一项重要议程,G20“暂缓最贫困国家债务偿付倡议”及《缓债倡议后续债务处理共同框架》将作为财金渠道重要成果提交领导人峰会。这是G20历史上首次各方共同参与的多边债务处理,国际社会普遍关注。近日,财政部长刘昆就G20债务议程接受中外记者采访。

  一、作为最大发展中国家和新兴债权人,中国参与并落实G20“暂缓最贫困国家债务偿付倡议”,受到国际社会广泛关注。请问中国落实该倡议的具体情况及成效如何?

  答:突如其来的新冠肺炎疫情对全球经济造成巨大冲击,低收入国家债务脆弱性和可持续性问题进一步凸显。今年3月26日,G20领导人特别峰会提出将继续应对低收入国家因疫情导致的债务脆弱性风险。4月15日,G20财长和央行行长会议通过了“暂缓最贫困国家债务偿付的倡议”(以下简称“G20缓债倡议”),在净现值中性的基础上,暂缓最贫困国家今年5月1日至年底到期的主权债务本息偿付,以帮助其释放更多财政资源,用于应对疫情冲击和恢复经济社会发展。

  作为G20成员和相关国家债权人,中方高度重视缓债倡议落实工作。习近平主席今年5月以来在多个国际场合郑重承诺,中方将同G20成员一道落实缓债倡议。中国财政部会同中国人民银行等相关部门,积极协调、全面推进缓债倡议落实工作。截至目前,国家国际发展合作署和中国进出口银行作为双边官方债权人,已经全面落实符合倡议要求的缓债申请,缓债金额达13.53亿美元,23个国家从中受益。中国国家开发银行作为商业债权人,按照自主自愿和市场原则,积极响应缓债倡议,截至9月末与有关受惠国家签订协议的缓债金额达到7.48亿美元。中国是G20成员中落实缓债金额最多的国家,以实际行动为支持最贫困国家应对疫情挑战和债务脆弱性作出了积极贡献。这也是中方为G20领导人利雅得峰会提供的重要成果。

  倡议落实过程中,中国双边官方债权人和商业债权人秉持认真负责的态度,有序推进缓债行动,与申请缓债的国家进行充分磋商,有效确保相关国家真正受益。同时,中方充分尊重申请缓债国家的自主决定和法律程序,以避免产生申请缓债国家信用评级受损等负面影响。

  二、据了解,G20目前已经同意对缓债倡议进行延期,并将开展后续债务处理,可否介绍下这方面的相关情况?

  答:G20缓债倡议主要是解决最贫困国家面临的短期流动性问题。但随着疫情持续蔓延,全球经济陷入衰退,许多最贫困国家由流动性困难演变为偿付危机的可能性大增。为此,G20在缓债倡议基础上,提出了延长缓债期限和后续债务处理的建议,推动各方采取更大力度的减缓债措施,加大对最贫困国家的支持和帮助。

  中方对此予以积极支持。一是率先呼吁并支持延长缓债期限。习近平主席在6月17日中非团结抗疫特别峰会上率先呼吁“G20在落实当前缓债倡议基础上,进一步延长对包括非洲国家在内的相关国家缓债期限”。这体现了中国主动承担国际责任、推动国际抗疫合作的大国担当,对于推动各方就缓债倡议延期达成共识发挥了重要引领作用。10月14日,G20财长和央行行长一致同意将缓债期限延至2021年6月30日,并将在明年4月确定是否需要再延期6个月。

  二是建设性参与后续债务处理讨论,并核准G20《缓债倡议后续债务处理共同框架》(以下简称共同框架)。我们从解决最贫困国家实际困难、支持全球抗疫的需要出发,坚持“共同行动、公平负担、个案处理、多边共识”的多边债务处理原则,推动各方最终形成了较为平衡和可操作的后续债务处理方案。共同框架强调加强债权人协调,所有对某一债务国有债权的双边官方债权人都将参与对该债务国的债务处理,且原则上不采用债务免除或核销的方式;要求商业债权人提供与双边官方债权人至少同等条件的债务处理;多边开发银行要在保护其现有评级和低融资成本并借鉴以往债务减免等经验基础上,就如何最好地帮助发展中国家满足长期融资需求制定方案等。11月13日,G20财长和央行行长特别会议核准了共同框架。

  缓债倡议和共同框架是中方首次参与国际多边债务协调进程,充分展示了中方致力多边合作、积极参与国际债务行动的建设性态度。国际社会对此给予高度评价,认为共同框架是改善国际债务协调及治理的重要一环,中方为此作出了积极贡献。同时,作为今年G20财金渠道达成的具有里程碑意义的历史性成果,共同框架也体现了G20坚持多边主义、共同应对疫情挑战的团结协作精神,以及各方推进国际多边债务协调、积极解决低收入国家债务脆弱性的坚定决心。

  三、中方对于下步继续参与G20缓债倡议及后续债务处理有何考虑?

  答:中方将继续通过G20渠道,围绕解决最贫困国家债务脆弱性问题,与其他各方加强沟通协调,积极参与多边债务协调进程。一是结合有关国家的诉求,切实落实好缓债倡议延期工作。二是与其他多双边债权人一道,做好后续以个案为基础的债务处理工作,加大对疫情特别重、压力特别大的发展中国家的支持力度。三是继续鼓励国家开发银行等中国商业债权人以可比方式参与缓债行动。四是积极支持最贫困国家将解决债务问题与经济社会恢复发展有机结合,助其早日摆脱疫情影响,重回发展轨道。

  此外,中国还将继续通过多双边渠道向发展中国家抗疫和经济社会恢复发展提供力所能及的支持,包括落实好两年提供20亿美元国际援助的承诺;以多种方式优先向发展中国家提供疫苗等。我想强调的是,发展中国家债务问题由来已久,而解决这个问题的关键钥匙还是发展。近年来,广大发展中国家致力于加快推进经济社会发展,融资需求很大,但资金不足成为制约其繁荣振兴的主要瓶颈。中方作为最大的发展中国家,同这些国家积极开展投融资合作,帮助他们提高自身“造血能力”,助力其经济社会发展和互联互通,得到有关国家的高度评价。我们愿同国际社会共同努力,为帮助这些国家实现自主可持续发展、铲除债务问题产生的根源作出更大贡献。

  四、中方认为多边开发银行等多边债权人在G20债务议程中应发挥什么作用?

  答:当前,最贫困国家的债务结构中,世界银行等多边债权人是最主要债权人。根据世界银行2021年《国际债务统计报告》,在缓债倡议受惠国公共债务和公共担保债务总量中,多边债权人占比接近一半。鉴此,中方始终呼吁多边债权人在向符合缓债资格的国家提供净资金流入的同时,尽快采取合适的减缓债行动,帮助最贫困国家渡过难关。特别是世界银行作为主要多边债权方,应积极参与减缓债,探索各种可行方式,为减轻最贫困国家债务负担提供更多支持。如果世行通过设立多边减缓债基金方式参与减缓债,中方愿积极考虑提供捐款,帮助有关国家减轻债务负担。

Written Interview with Finance Minister Liu Kun on G20 Debt Agenda

  The 15th G20 Leaders’ Summit will be held on November 21-22, 2020. As important deliverables of the G20 Finance Track this year, the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for Poorest Countries (DSSI) and the Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI will be submitted to Leaders. This is the first time in G20’s history that countries have jointly participated in multilateral debt treatments. This receives great attention from the international community. Mr. Liu Kun, Minister of Finance, China, had a written interview with the Chinese and foreign press.

  Question 1: As the largest developing country and an emerging creditor, China has been participating in and implementing the DSSI, which draws extensive attention across the international community. Could you brief us on how China has been implementing the DSSI and what results have been produced?

  Minister Liu Kun: The sudden attack of COVID-19 has dealt a heavy blow to the global economy, and debt vulnerabilities and debt sustainability in low-income countries become even more prominent. At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit on March 26, 2020, leaders   stated that they would continue to address risks of debt vulnerability in low-income countries due to the pandemic. On April 15, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting agreed on the DSSI to suspend debt service payments falling due from May 1st, 2020 to the end of the year owed by the poorest countries. The suspension of payments will be NPV-neutral. The initiative is intended to help these countries free up more fiscal space for increasing social, health or economic spending in response to the crisis.

  As a G20 member and a creditor, China gives priority to the DSSI’s implementation. Since May this year, President Xi Jinping has made solemn commitments on several international occasions that China would work with other G20 members to implement the DSSI. The Ministry of Finance of China, along with the People’s Bank of China and other agencies concerned, has been coordinating and acting on the DSSI in a proactive and comprehensive manner. Up till now, the China International Development Cooperation Agency and the Export-Import Bank of China, as official bilateral creditors, have implemented all debt suspension requests that are DSSI-eligible. The total debt service payments suspended amount to USD1.353 billion, with 23 countries benefiting from the initiative. The China Development Bank (CDB), as a commercial creditor, has, on a voluntary basis and according to market principles, actively responded to the DSSI. By the end of September, the CDB has signed agreements with DSSI beneficiaries involving USD 748 million. Ranking the first among G20 members in terms of deferral amount, China helps, in real action, the poorest countries respond to the pandemic and address debt vulnerability. This is also an important deliverable that China contributes for the upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit.

  Being professional and responsible, the Chinese official bilateral creditors and commercial creditors have been pressing ahead with the DSSI implementation in an orderly manner by having adequate and thorough consultations with requesting countries to make sure that the countries can truly benefit from the initiative. Meanwhile, China fully respects the independent decisions and legal procedures of requesting countries with a view to preventing adverse impact on requesting countries such as  credit rating downgrade.

  Question 2: The G20 has agreed to extend the DSSI and endorsed the ‘Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI’ which is intended to facilitate debt treatment for DSSI-eligible countries. Could you give us a brief introduction thereon?

  Minister Liu Kun: The DSSI is mainly intended to meet the short-term liquidity needs of the poorest countries. However, with the global economy sliding into recession against the backdrop of continued spread of COVID-19, the liquidity difficulties of many poorest countries may  evolve into a solvency crisis. The G20 hence proposed the extension and debt treatments beyond the DSSI with a view to providing greater support to the poorest countries by pushing all parties to take stronger actions for debt treatment.

  China has been in favor of the proposals:

  First, China took the lead in calling for and supporting the extension of the DSSI. At the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against the COVID-19 held on June 17th, President Xi Jinping stated that, ‘China will work with other members of the G20 to implement the DSSI, and, on that basis, urge the G20 to extend debt service suspension still further for countries concerned, including those in Africa’. This demonstrates China’s sense of responsibility as a major country and its commitment to the international fight against the pandemic. The statement by President Xi plays an important role in leading all parties towards a consensus on the DSSI extension. On October 14th, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors unanimously agreed to extend the DSSI to June 30th, 2021, and said that they would examine by the time of the 2021 IMF/WBG Spring Meetings whether the economic and financial situation requires to extend further the DSSI by another 6 months.

  Second, China participated in the discussions on debt treatments beyond the DSSI in a constructive way, and endorsed the Common Framework. To help address the real difficulties of poorest countries and support the global fight against the pandemic, and in line with the principles of ‘joint actions, fair burden sharing, a case-by-case approach and multilateral consensus’ for multilateral debt treatment, China worked with other parties to finalize a relatively balanced and operable solution to debt treatments beyond the DSSI. The Common Framework highlights the need for strong creditors' coordination and requires that all official bilateral creditors with claims on a debtor country will participate in the debt treatment of that country. According to the Common Framework, in principle, debt treatments will not be conducted in the form of debt write-off or cancellation; debt treatments by private creditors should be at least as favorable as that provided by official bilateral creditors; and multilateral development banks will develop options for how best to help meet longer term financing needs of developing countries, including by drawing on past experiences to deal with debt vulnerabilities such as domestic adjustment, net positive financial flows and debt relief, while protecting their ratings and low cost of funding. On November 13th, the Extraordinary Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors endorsed the Common Framework.

  As a party to the DSSI and the Common Framework, China participates in a multilateral debt coordination process for the first time. China’s participation points to the country’s commitment to multilateral cooperation. The international community commends China’s  constructive attitude toward international debt actions while recognizing the Common Framework as an important part in international debt coordination and governance. As a milestone achievement on the G20 finance track this year, the Common Framework also showcases G20’s commitment to multilateralism and its spirit of solidarity and cooperation in jointly responding to the challenges of the pandemic. The Common Framework also demonstrates countries’ firm resolve to advance multilateral debt coordination and help low-income countries address risks of debt vulnerability.

  Question 3: What will China do as the next steps to implement the DSSI and participate in debt treatments beyond the DSSI?

  Minister Liu Kun: China will stay in close communication and coordination with other parties within G20 over the issue of debt vulnerabilities in the poorest countries, and we will continue to participate, in an active manner, in the multilateral debt coordination process .

  First, we will act on the DSSI extension in real earnest by taking into account the requests of relevant countries. Second, we will work together with other multilateral and bilateral creditors for debt treatment on a case-by-case basis. Greater support will be given to countries that are hardest hit by the pandemic and are under heavy stress. Third, we will continue to encourage the CDB and other Chinese commercial creditors to participate in the DSSI on comparable terms. Fourth, we will assist poorest countries in combining their efforts to address debt challenges with their efforts to restore economic and social development with the aim of helping them get out of the woods at an early date and go back onto the path of growth.

  Furthermore, China will provide assistance to developing countries for their efforts in fighting against the pandemic and achieve economic and social recovery and development to the best of our ability through bilateral and multilateral channels, including providing USD 2 billion of international assistance over two years. We will prioritize providing in various ways developing countries with vaccine against COVID-19 when it becomes available. I would like to emphasize that the debt issue of developing countries has been long-standing. The key to solving this issue is development. In recent years, the vast majority of developing countries have been committed to accelerating economic and social development, and there is a great demand for financing. However, financing shortage remains a major constraint on development and prosperity in these countries. As the largest developing country, China has actively engaged in investment and financing cooperation with these countries to help them improve their ‘self-development capacity’ and facilitate their economic and social development as well as connectivity. China’s efforts have been well received. We are ready to work with other parties and make greater contributions in helping these countries realize independent and sustainable development, and eradicate the root causes of the debt issue.

  Question 4: What role should multilateral creditors, including MDBs, play for the G20 debt agenda?

  Minister Liu Kun: Multilateral creditors like the World Bank have the lion’s share of debt service payments owed by the poorest countries. According to World Bank’s International Debt Statistics 2021, multilateral creditors account for almost half of DSSI-eligible countries’ total public and publicly guaranteed debt. In view of this, China calls on multilateral creditors to, while providing positive net inflows to DSSI- eligible countries, take part in the debt treatment process in order to help the poorest countries through this challenging time. In particular, the World Bank, as a major multilateral creditor, should take part in debt treatments and explore various options to provide more support to the poorest countries in alleviating their debt burden. If the World Bank takes part in debt treatment through setting up a multilateral debt relief facility, China will positively consider contributing to the facility as such to help ease the debt burden on the poorest countries.

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