3 Oct 2006

Northern Marianas looks for private financing to solve its economic crisis

8:00 pm on 3 October 2006

The government in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is considering private borrowing overseas to overcome its financial crisis.

The government has been seeking around 140 million US dollars from the federal government for months but it appears unlikely that this money will be made available.

The shortfall has led to cuts in services including staff being forced to work a shorter week.

The government spokesperson, Charles Reyes, says cabinet is now considering offers from both Chinese and Japanese banks.

In April Japan's Takuyo Industries said it was willing to provide long-term infrastructure financing of up to 500 million US dollars.

Government sources say that there have also been discussions in Manila with a Chinese financier.