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IMF chief says conversation with Argentine president “very constructive”

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he Argentine government had said that it would seek a new agreement with IMF to begin repayments when the country’s economy stabilizes and sees positive growth.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Wednesday that her conversation with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez was “very constructive and positive”.

“I had a very constructive and positive conversation with President Fernandez today,” Georgieva said as she noted that Fernandez has notified IMF of Argentina’s request for a new fund agreement with IMF.

“We discussed the important challenges faced by Argentina, including in the context of the global pandemic, and the Argentine government’s priorities in the period ahead, in particular the need to reinvigorate the economy, while continuing to protect the most vulnerable,” Georgieva said in a statement.

The IMF chief said she looks forward to deepening the dialogue with Argentina on “how we can best support the government’s efforts to manage the impact of the pandemic, jumpstart growth and job creation, and reduce poverty and unemployment while strengthening macroeconomic stability.”

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez gives a speech at a ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 10, 2019. (Xinhua/Martin Zabala)

Argentina began formal talks with IMF on Wednesday to negotiate a new lending agreement to replace the one signed in mid-2018 as part of a 56 billion U.S. dollar bailout.

Argentina and IMF agreed on a stand-by deal in mid-2018 for the bailout, of which the country has received about 44.1 billion dollars in disbursements.

The IMF said in February that it “assesses Argentina’s debt to be unsustainable,” and the country needs a definitive plan which could require a meaningful contribution from private creditors to help restore debt sustainability.

The Argentine government had said that it would seek a new agreement with IMF to begin repayments when the country’s economy stabilizes and sees positive growth.