FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The IMF logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington
INTERNATIONAL - Congo Republic has taken a decisive step towards debt sustainability through a loan restructuring with China, especially combined with fiscal caution and renegotiations with private creditors, the head of an IMF mission said on Wednesday.

Congo’s government said on Thursday it signed an agreement in April to restructure its debt to China, which amounted to over $2 billion as of 2017.

“Congo’s case is solid and is going to enable the IMF to move quickly towards a programme,” mission chief Alex Segura-Ubiergo said after a meeting between an International Monetary Fund delegation and President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

“The China (deal) represents a decisive step in restoring the sustainability of public debt.”

This, when combined with a more cautious 2018 budget and expected renegotiation with commercial creditors should “be able to show that Congo’s public debt is becoming sustainable.”

The Central African country has been under pressure to restructure its external debt from the IMF, which says long-delayed financial support will only be unlocked once the burden is made sustainable.

REUTERS