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Yellen ‘eager’ to work with China on debt, other global challenges

By ⁤David Lawder​ and ⁢Aftab Ahmed

GANDHINAGAR, India (Reuters)​ – ⁢U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ⁤expressed her⁢ enthusiasm 𝅺to 𝅺collaborate with𝅺 China on ⁢various areas of mutual interest, including debt‍ restructurings for poorer countries.‌ She emphasized ⁣the 𝅺need for reforms in​ multilateral ‍development banks before considering capital 𝅺increases.

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During ⁣a press⁤ conference prior to a meeting 𝅺of⁢ Group⁣ of 20 finance ⁣ministers and central bankers in⁤ India, Yellen stated that ⁣her𝅺 recent ‍visit⁣ to 𝅺Beijing‌ helped establish a more stable foundation ⁤for the U.S.-China⁣ relationship.⁤ She emphasized the⁢ obligation⁢ of the world’s ⁢two ​largest ‍economies to cooperate on matters of mutual concern.

“While there is still ⁢much work⁣ to be ‌done,⁤ I believe ⁣this⁣ trip ​was a significant starting point,” ‍Yellen said. ⁢”I‍ am eager ‍to𝅺 build upon ‌the progress we made𝅺 in Beijing⁢ and take ⁤further action.”

Yellen⁤ acknowledged ‍the ongoing⁣ concerns regarding𝅺 China’s‍ unfair trade practices, which led to‍ the imposition ‌of tariffs by⁤ the​ United States.​ She highlighted the importance of creating ​an environment in ⁣which ⁤U.S. corporations⁤ can​ invest and⁤ thrive in China.

Regarding⁤ Russia, ‍Yellen⁣ affirmed 𝅺that the⁤ United ⁣States will ‌continue to​ restrict Russia’s⁣ access to military ⁢equipment and ⁤technologies needed⁤ for the ⁤invasion of ​Ukraine. ⁢She ​emphasized ⁢the goal ⁤of‍ combating Russia’s efforts to​ evade sanctions.

As the ‌chair⁣ of the G20 this year,⁢ India has ⁣maintained⁣ a mostly neutral ⁢stance‌ on the war, refraining from 𝅺directly blaming Russia for the ‌invasion and advocating ⁢for𝅺 a ‌diplomatic‌ solution. Yellen expressed ⁤her⁤ determination to ⁢push ⁢for 𝅺the full and timely participation𝅺 of ⁤all bilateral 𝅺official creditors in pending ⁢debt⁢ restructurings at‌ the G20 meeting⁢ in ⁤Gandhinagar,‍ India.

Yellen ⁤discussed Zambia’s debt 𝅺restructuring ‍with‌ her Chinese ‌counterparts ‌and highlighted the need⁤ to apply ⁢common​ principles agreed upon in Zambia’s‍ case to other cases.⁢ She𝅺 expressed‍ hope for the ‍swift finalization of ‍debt⁤ treatments⁤ for Sri​ Lanka‍ and ‌Ghana, ⁤enabling ‍the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to proceed ⁤with ‌initial‌ loan program ⁢reviews in⁤ the ⁤coming months.

Yellen​ emphasized the ⁤necessity𝅺 of‍ a debt‌ restructuring “user⁢ guide” to⁢ provide ⁣clarity​ for borrowing ‌countries and other stakeholders. ⁤She also⁤ stressed the importance of putting𝅺 the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and⁤ Growth ⁣trust 𝅺on a ‌more solid ⁤financial ‌footing, with the U.S. Treasury ready ⁣to assist in ​considering options.

‘BETTER BANKS’

Yellen outlined​ several 𝅺next steps for ​the evolution‌ of the World ⁤Bank and​ other⁣ multilateral development banks.⁢ However, she emphasized that 𝅺any exploration‌ of ‌capital ​increases for​ these‍ institutions should only be 𝅺considered⁢ after implementing ‍reforms 𝅺aimed ​at‌ expanding their role beyond⁣ poverty reduction to​ address ​global challenges like climate ⁣change and ⁤pandemics.

“Our ⁣focus⁤ should ‍be on building⁤ better banks, ⁤not ​just bigger⁢ banks,”‌ Yellen⁢ stated.

She ⁤reiterated her estimation that⁤ multilateral​ development banks could ‍increase lending 𝅺by $200 ‍billion over a‌ decade ​through balance ‌sheet reforms.‌ Yellen ⁢also⁣ highlighted the ‍potential for further increases by implementing recommendations ⁣from the ‌G20 Capital​ Adequacy ⁢Framework ⁢report.

Among the reform steps ⁢for ⁣the World‍ Bank,‌ Yellen advocated for ‍a new set of 𝅺principles ⁣that ​would allow the targeted⁢ use of the bank’s⁤ concessional financing ⁢for‌ global𝅺 challenges, including climate‍ change. She𝅺 expressed𝅺 interest in⁤ exploring options⁢ for lending ‍to sub-sovereign and ​supra-sovereign ⁤borrowers, ‍such 𝅺as‍ the ‌COVAX ⁢vaccine ⁣initiative.

Yellen affirmed ​the United States’‌ commitment ⁢to ​implementing a‌ global corporate minimum tax ⁤deal reached in 2021, ‌despite ⁣the ⁣lack⁣ of‍ action by the ‍U.S. Congress. She stated that⁤ negotiations ⁢on the ‍technical 𝅺details ⁢of the deal’s ⁣Pillar⁣ 1, which​ involves⁣ the reallocation ‍of taxing ⁤rights on ​large multinationals, were nearing​ completion.

𝅺(Reporting ⁤by David 𝅺Lawder in Washington and Aftab ⁢Ahmed𝅺 in Gandhinagar; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly and⁢ William ​Mallard)

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