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Vol 2 (AAC) No 4

Published 1st February 2009


Congo-Kinshasa

Twixt Beijing and the IMF

China's investment and production plans face a crisis as Kinshasa's foreign reserves nosedive

Falling demand for copper, cobalt and diamonds offers a stark choice for President Joseph Kabila's government: does it accept the onerous conditions of credits from the International Monetary Fund or does it put its faith in massive mining and infrastructure projects with China, which have been under negotiation for the past two years? The package of countertrade deals with China could be worth as much as US$20 billion in the medium term, but Kinshasa wants to reduce its $11.5 bn. foreign debt, accumulated under kleptocratic leader Mobutu Sese Seko, who was chased from power in 1997.

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