IMF’s Georgieva welcomes Argentina’s commitment to keep working on debt issue

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Argentina had agreed to remain engaged with the IMF in discussions over restructuring its debt. (Reuters)
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Updated 22 February 2020

IMF’s Georgieva welcomes Argentina’s commitment to keep working on debt issue

  • Argentina said the meeting with the IMF chief “deepened under- standing and set the stage for future talks”

RIYADH: IMF Managing Director Kristina Georgieva on Saturday said she had a “very fruitful exchange of views” with Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman about putting the country on a path to more sustainable and inclusive growth.

After meeting Guzman on the sidelines of a G20 gathering in Saudi Arabia, Georgieva said the Argentine government had agreed to remain engaged with the International Monetary Fund through formal consultations as it worked to “secure a sustainable and orderly resolution of Argentina’s debt situation.”

Argentina is facing tough negotiations with creditors and the IMF to restructure around $100 billion in debt that the country’s new Peronist government says that it cannot pay unless given time to revive stalled economic growth.

The IMF, which wrapped up a visit to Argentina earlier this week, has said the country’s debt situation had become “unsustainable” and that private creditors would need to make a “meaningful contribution” to resolve the crisis.

Georgieva said she had a good meeting with Guzman on Saturday as finance officials from the world’s 20 largest economies gathered in Riyadh, where concerns about Argentina and other troubled economies were high on the agenda.

She commended the efforts of the Argentine government to put in place policies aimed at stabilizing the economy and reducing poverty, and said the officials also discussed the Argentine authorities’ plans to secure a sustainable and orderly resolution of Argentina’s debt situation.

“In this context, I welcomed the Argentine authorities’ commitment to continue to deepen our engagement including through an Article IV Consultation and steps toward a Fund-supported program in the future. The modalities of these next steps will continue to be discussed,” she said.

An Article IV consultation is an IMF appraisal of a country’s economic and financial policies.

The Argentine government said Guzman’s meeting with the IMF chief “deepened mutual understanding and set the stage for future talks.”

“The minister informed the managing director of the government’s intention to initiate Article IV consultations, which the minister called a valuable step that will deepen mutual understanding between the Argentine government and the IMF on the way toward a new program with the agency,” it said.


Philippine jobless rate hits record 17.7% in April due to pandemic

Updated 05 June 2020

Philippine jobless rate hits record 17.7% in April due to pandemic

  • The Philippines is facing its biggest economic contraction in more than three decades
  • April’s 17.7 percent unemployment rate equivalent to 7.3 million people without jobs

MANILA: The Philippines’ unemployment rate surged to a record 17.7 percent in April, the statistics agency said on Friday, as millions lost their jobs due to a pandemic-induced lockdown that battered the economy.
The Philippines, which before the pandemic was one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, is facing its biggest contraction in more than three decades after the new coronavirus shuttered businesses and crushed domestic demand.
April’s unemployment rate, which is 7.3 million people without jobs, compares with 5.3 percent in January and 5.1 percent in April last year.
“We should not lose sight of the fact that this loss in employment is really temporary,” Economic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said in an online news conference.
The lockdown in the capital, Manila, which was one of the world’s longest and strictest, was relaxed as of June 1 to allow much-needed business activity to resume and soften the economic blow of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 20,000 in the country.