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Taiwan to allow Paraguay to defer loan payments: minister

Panama City, Panama -- Taiwan has agreed in principle to allow Paraguay to defer repayment of a US$400 million loan that it had granted to the South American diplomatic ally, Republic of China Foreign Minister Francisco H.L. Ou said in Panama Sunday.

"However, the loan must be repaid, " Ou said at Panama City International Airport, where he was waiting for several hours before heading to the Dominican Republic.

Ou said that before embarking on his current trip to cement relations with Taiwan's Central and South American allies, he obtained an agreement from the Taiwanese lending banks that repayment of the syndicated US$400 million loan made to Paraguay several years ago could be deferred for six months.

"The banks agreed to grant Paraguay a six-month grace period in view of the global economic recession," Ou said.

Ou was on his way from Paraguay to the Dominican Republic capital of Santo Domingo for a one-day visit before returning to Taipei. He made stopovers in Chile and Panama but had no official schedule in those two countries.

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