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Center for Global Development: Kyrgyzstan is at risk of debt distress

The U.S. Center for Global Development published a report in which it expressed particular concern of eight countries, which are at a particular risk of debt distress within the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). These are Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, Maldives, Djibouti, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The center specialists said that China invests up to $ 8 trillion in 68 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe as part of its initiative.

According to the center, Kyrgyzstan is a relatively poor country with significant new BRI-related infrastructure projects being constructed, much of it financed by external debt.

By the end of March 2017, public and publicly guaranteed debt amounted to roughly 65 percent of GDP, of which external debt represented about 90 percent of the total. China’s Exim Bank is the largest single creditor, with reported loans by the end of 2016 totaling $1.5 billion, or roughly 40 percent of the country’s total external debt.

«While currently considered to be at a «moderate» risk of debt distress, Kyrgyzstan remains vulnerable to shocks resulting from a sizeable exchange rate depreciation exacerbated by the scaling up of public investments,» the center noted.