FINANCE and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa is scheduled to arrive in France on Thursday this week for talks with officials of the Paris Club to resolve arrears on bilateral debts.
Government is expected to finalise its agreement to repay close to US$2 billion arrears to multilateral financial institutions to pave the way for its re-entry into the international financial system after almost two decades in the cold.
The boards of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the African Development Bank are due to meet in September to confirm the settlement of all outstanding payments to them and discuss plans for fresh loans to Zimbabwe.
A team from the IMF arrived in Harare on June 15 for follow up discussions after it had assessed Zimbabwe’s satisfactory adherence to agreed reforms.
IMF said Zimbabwe’s current cash shortages were a reflection that the country was not receiving adequate financial support from the international financial institutions.
In an effort to ease the current cash shortage, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has since announced eight policy measures which would see the introduction of bond notes, converting part of all US dollar foreign exchange receipts to Rands and euro and also limiting daily cash withdrawals.
The road map for Zimbabwe’s return to the international financial system was launched at the IMF and World Banks’s annual meeting in Lima last September and was finalised at a special meeting at the African Development Bank in Lusaka on May 27.
The IMF Executive Board in concluding and adopting the third Staff Monitored Programme and the Article IV consultations on Zimbabwe and recommended ambitious structural reforms which would allow the country to regain access to external financing, particularly from the fund. The arrears to the IMF, World Bank and ADB arrears are aboutUS$1,8 billion. The country’s external debt stands at US$10,8 billion.