By Linda Straker
Grenada will only have to repay approximately EC$30 million of an almost EC$60 million debt it owes the Republic of China on Taiwan for loans contracted over a 10-year period before it severed ties in 2005.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell made the disclosure during his first television interview for 2015 with the Grenada Broadcasting Network, which was conducted on Monday night. “The Taiwan Government has agreed to a 50% hair cut. They have also agreed to look into a period of payment that will make it easy for us,” Dr Mitchell said without providing much details with regards to the terms and condition which was agreed to.
In December 2014 a Government release had said that the Government of Grenada had reached an in principle agreement with the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China (EXIM) on the restructuring terms to be applied to Grenada’s indebtedness to EXIM, which has been in default since 2004.
In 2007, the Bank brought a court action against the Grenada government in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York for four loans that the NNP regime took and defaulted on payments.
The bank was seeking to recover US$ 21.6 million from the government plus interest payments for the loans that were taken to facilitate construction of the first sporting stadium at Queen’s Park, the Ministerial Complex at the Botanical Gardens, the agricultural sector, and for road construction projects on Mainland Grenada and the sister isle of Carriacou.
Taiwan’s government Export-Import Bank had loaned the money for infrastructure projects at a time when Grenada gave the island diplomatic recognition. It was part of Taiwan’s battle against Chinese attempts to strip it of international recognition. China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that is still rightfully part of China. In 2005, Grenada’s government severed ties with Taiwan and recognised Beijing.