Guyana’s external debt now stands at US$1.1B. External debt speaks to the amount of money owed to foreign banks and companies.
The Bank of Guyana has reported, “The stock of external debt increased to US$1,174 million on account of higher disbursements by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Exim Bank of China.”
The Bank of Guyana said that the external debt service ratio declined to 4.8 percent from 5.1 percent at end-March 2016, which is far below the liquidity threshold of 20 percent.
The Bank of Guyana said that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Exim Bank of China disbursement increased by US$5.4 million and US$9.8 million respectively. The money was reportedly disbursed for financing of infrastructural upgrade and the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project.
Further, the Bank of Guyana reported that the external debt service is estimated to increase in 2017 “on account of higher scheduled principal and interest payments to bilateral creditors.”
Guyana and China signed an agreement for the facilitation of the US$130 million to help fund the airport expansion.
The CJIA project is said to be 62 percent complete. The entire project is to be completed by year end.
This project entails the construction of a new terminal building, work on which commenced a few months ago.
Additionally, the existing terminal building will be modernized and used for departures only.
Both ends of the runway have been extended by 710 metres to the North-East and 840 metres to the South-West, with sand filling and concrete filling to commence soon.
Works are currently ongoing to relocate two cargo hangers and a Rubis filling station; these are buildings between the control tower and current departure building.
The construction is complete for the new diesel generator room while construction of a new fire pump station and the implementation of a new boarding corridor with bridges are to begin shortly.
However, the projected yearend deadline is challenged by delays which occurred under the previous administration.
Project Manager, Kevin Lui of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), the company contracted for the airport expansion project, said daily meetings are being held to address the challenges facing the completion of the project.
Lui explained that normal airport operation is one reason for the sloth of the project. He explained that no one party can solve the issue, since the various airlines and higher authorities will have to collaborate to resolve these challenges.
However, Lui expressed gratitude for the government’s role in the project.
The airport expansion project commenced on January 16, 2013, but due to several delays the date was extended.
The Government of Guyana was forced to call in CHEC to renegotiate the terms after it became clear that the Chinese company was way behind.
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