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Gatien Bon

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      Macroéconomie Internationale, Banque et Econométrie Financière

2020-27 "China’s debt relief actions overseas and macroeconomic implications"

Gatien Bon, Gong Cheng

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Abstract
This paper explores a novel database of 140 cases of debt restructurings that China conducted between 2000 and 2019 in 65 debtor countries. It uncovers a number of salient features of the restructuring terms that China has offered and the ways in which China has interacted with other creditors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The majority of debt relief operations have been executed through debt forgiveness rather than debt rescheduling through maturity extension or/and interest rate reduction. Interestingly, a large number of Chinese debt relief operations took place within a two-year timeframe of debt relief agreements with Paris Club or private sector creditors and in the context of financial assistance from the IMF. Using local projections, this paper sheds light on the negative impact of China’s debt relief operations on growth and development prospects in debtor countries, especially when China provides debt rescheduling and does not treat the stock of nominal debt. Subdued domestic fixed capital investment and fiscal policy tightening seem to be the main drag on economic growth in debtor countries after a restructuring.
Classification-JEL
F33, F34, H63
Mot(s) clé(s)
China, Paris Club, Sovereign debt, Restructuring, Development, Africa
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2020-22 "China’s overseas Sovereign debt relief actions: What insights do recent cases provide?"

Gatien Bon, Gong Cheng

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Abstract
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the G20 and the Paris Club agreed to provide bilateral official debt relief to low-income countries. This paper presents eight case studies of China’s recent debt relief actions overseas to shed light on their common features and particularities. These cases – Cuba (2010), Seychelles (2011), Chad (2017), Zambia (2018), Mozambique (2018), Cameroon (2019), Congo (2019) and Venezuela (in progress) – highlight China’s growing role in providing debt relief. This relief is provided either in conjunction with other official creditors, such as the Paris Club, or private creditors, or out of its own political initiative. The magnitude of debt relief and restructuring terms vary across different cases and depending on the terms offered by other creditors. We observe a predominant share of cancellation of accumulated arrears instead of nominal haircut of the outstanding principal in these eight cases. We conclude with preliminary reflections on political economy factors motivating China’s debt relief actions.
Classification-JEL
F33, F34, H63
Mot(s) clé(s)
Africa, China, Paris Club, Sovereign debt restructuring
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