Guinea-Bissau owes over 200 million euros

5 January 2017

Guinea-Bissau has taken on new loans and now owes more than 200 million euros to financial institutions from West African countries, said Wednesday in Bissau the new Minister of Economy and Finance.

João Fadiá, who met with economic operators to convey his ideas on the new economic policy he intends to implement in Guinea-Bissau to counter the lack of public resources and state debt.

“The public finances of Guinea-Bissau are in a very serious situation (…) which can not continue,” said Fadiá, quoted by Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The Minister stressed that the state debt to commercial banks and financial markets of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) “did not bring improvements (…) as this money was partially used to pay for luxury items, such as cars without anything being built to serve the population.”

The Minister of Economy and Finance, who until entering the government in November 2016, was director of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) for Guinea-Bissau, said he was concerned about the pace of debt accumulation after the debt write off by bilateral and multilateral partners in 2010.

The foreign debt of Guinea-Bissau amounted to about US$1.5 million and was pardoned after the country met a number of criteria under the initiative for the Heavily Indebted Countries (HIPC).

Braima Camará, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Services, who spoke on behalf of entrepreneurs operating in Guinea-Bissau, expressed the full support of the private sector to follow the new government but added that “if the public finances are in trouble, the private sector is even worse.”(macauhub)