HC Deb 08 April 1982 vol 21 cc486-7W
Mr. Deakins

asked the Lord Privy Seal what outstanding British financial claims exist against Nicaragua; when these were incurred; and why no action was taken to recover the sums involved until recently.

Mr. Peter Rees

I have been asked to reply.

The present amount of arrears on ECGD guaranteed debt is over £1 million. The amounts due to British exporters without ECGD cover is not known. There is no evidence or arrears of payments under commercial United Kingdom bank loans.

ECGD cover was restricted in October 1978 and finally withdrawn in March 1979 because of the economic problems caused by the civil war and acute shortage of foreign exchange which followed. These decisions were taken on the basis of ECGD's commercial assessment of the risk.

It is not true that no action has been taken to recover the sums involved. ECGD participated in multilateral debt rescheduling talks in October 1980 but these negotiations came to nothing. Nicaragua is now pursuing bilateral negotiations with creditor countries and exploratory talks have already taken place between ECGD and Nicaraguan Government officials.

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