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Cuba: Italy signs historic debt-restructuring agreement

Italy joined 13 other Paris Club members on 12 December in signing an historic debt-restructuring agreement with Cuba, which has been in default since 1986. The agreement provides for payment over 18 years of back payments and the gradual cancellation of late payment interest. Italy is the fourth-ranked creditor, with a share in the debt equal to 507 million USD, of which SACE holds 486 million.

The Italian delegation to the negotiations, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with officials from the Economy and Finance Ministry and SACE, played a prominent role in laborious negotiation sessions that lasted over several days. The turning point came precisely with the willingness of Italy and other principal creditors (France, Japan and Spain) to convert part of the back payments into development projects in Cuba to be decided on a bilateral basis.

The agreement falls within the framework of Havana’s normalisation of relations with sovereign creditors and the international financial community, and will facilitate the country’s access to the capital market and the export credit of sector agencies such as SACE, with the consequent benefits for Italian firms involved in investing and doing business with Cuba.