U.S.’ Yellen, PBOC’s Pan to meet for talks, including on debt
MARRAKECH, Morocco – Janet Yellen said on Wednesday she planned to meet Chinese central bank boss Pan Gongsheng this week for talks that will broach debt issues, as the U.S. Treasury Secretary and World Bank President Ajay Banga called for faster debt restructurings.
Commenting on discussions with China on restructuring the debt of struggling poor countries, Yellen said: “Although progress has been slow and certainly needs to be improved … we have seen some meaningful progress in particular cases.”
She said she was hopeful that more progress could be made.
The meeting with Pan will take place on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual gathering in Marrakech this week, Yellen said.
China is a key player in negotiations on deals to ease financial burdens for emerging and low-income countries that are struggling to pay back huge debts amid rising interest rates.
Banga said China has been a cooperative partner of the World Bank, but more transparency was needed on debt contracts in order to accelerate restructurings.
He said the establishment of the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable group had helped bring about a restructuring for Zambia by bringing together creditors, debtors, the IMF and the World Bank.
Yellen said she has made “meaningful progress: by establishing regular economic contact with Chinese officials on various issues, and “we expect to have a good channel to discuss debt issues with them.”
“We’ve worked very constructively with representatives from the PBOC (central bank) to advance a common agenda that relates to climate change, and so I definitely see a potential for us to deepen our work together, and I’m optimistic about that,” she added.