MARRAKECH, Morocco — Janet Yellen said Wednesday she plans to meet Chinese central bank boss Pan Gongsheng this week for talks on debt issues, while U.S. Treasury Secretary and World Bank President Ajay Banga called for faster debt restructurings.
Commenting on talks with China on restructuring the debts of struggling poor countries, Yellen said: “While progress has been slow and certainly needs improvement… we have seen some meaningful progress in some cases.”
She said she hoped further progress could be made.
The meeting with Pan will take place this week on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Marrakech, Yellen said.
READ: Global debt is rising, emerging markets pass the $100 trillion -IIF mark
China is a key player in negotiating deals to ease the financial burden on emerging and low-income countries struggling to repay huge debts amid rising interest rates.
Banga said China has been a cooperative partner of the World Bank, but more transparency on debt contracts was needed to accelerate restructuring.
He said the establishment of the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable group has helped restructure Zambia by bringing together creditors, debtors, the IMF and the World Bank.
READ: State debtors and creditors have agreed on steps to kick-start debt restructuring
Yellen said she has made “meaningful progress” by establishing regular economic contact with Chinese officials on various issues, and “we expect to have a good channel to discuss debt issues with them.”
“We have worked very constructively with representatives of the PBOC (central bank) to advance a common agenda related to climate change, and so I certainly see a potential for us to deepen our work together, and I am optimistic about that about. she added.