The Taiwan government says it cannot intervene in the matter between the island of Grenada and its state-owned Export Import bank of the Republic of China.
The Taipei Times on Thursday reported that the Director-General of the Department of Central and South American Affairs Wu Chin-mu said the Ministry was “in no position to intervene in the matter” because the loan in question was “commercial.”
According to the Taipei Times, Director General Wu in responding to questions about his country’s decision to renegotiate a payment plan with Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and not with Grenada after Hurricane Ivan, Wu said “Grenada, unlike Haiti, is not a diplomatic ally”.
Grenada took four loans from the Taiwanese Bank dating back to 1990, under then ‘The National Party’ (TNP) of Herbert Blaize, when it enjoyed diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Anthony Boatswain, who was Finance Minister under the New National Party regime, which took a further three loans during its 13-years in office, said the loans were serviced until 2004 when the island was struck by hurricane Ivan, causing damages to over 90% of the infrastructure.
Grenada severed diplomatic relations With Taiwan in January 2005 and in September of the same year, the Taiwan bank called in the loan. Boatswain who was Finance Minister at the time, told reporters on Wednesday that Taiwan had continually refused efforts by Grenada to renegotiate the loans.
Wang Chi-chung , a spokesperson for the bank, would not comment on the matter, the Taipei Times said.
“Any information about loans between the two countries pertains to state secrets,” Wang said.
“As a public servant, I can’t reveal any confidential information,” Wang said.
On October 11th, through the Southern District Court of New York, served Restraining Notices on Princess Cruise lines, one of the liners that stop at the Grenada St. George’s Port, in an attempt by EXIM Bank to collect on the debt.
The island’s Finance Minister Nazim Burke says that move, would seriously affect the island’s tourism industry and will be fought in court. ©