The Minister for Finance and Treasury, Hon Gordon Darcy Lilo has welcomed a European Investment Bank (EIB) debt write-off in respect of the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI) outstanding debts to the EIB.

The debt was in regard to an EIB global loan to DBSI in the early 1990s for purposes of capitalizing the Bank for lending programmes in the rural areas.

Minister Lilo, in welcoming the debt write off, said, "The debt write-off is most welcomed and indeed a relief on the Solomon Islands debt stock. It has also further improved the Solomon Islands international debt status from red light status to amber light status."

"The EIB's debt write off is indeed a clear demonstration of its continuing genuine commitment and support to the Solomon Islands and its full commitment to the agreed Minute between the Creditors and the Solomon Islands Government in October 2005 and on a commitment made by the EIB at the time," Minister Lilo said.

Minister Lilo added that it is also a demonstration of the EIB's confidence on the Solomon Islands Government economic reform program and achievements thus far and the potential to further invest in the country.

The EIB debt write-off package comprises write-off of outstanding loan payments following liquidation of remaining DBSI's assets.

This debt write-off means that the Solomon Islands Government would not be required to pay the current outstanding EIB debt of SBD 14.6 million.

Source:Press Release, Government Communications Unit