14 Jun 2016

Cooks Finance Minister defends borrowing level

2:28 pm on 14 June 2016
Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown

Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

The Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown says the government's debt is sustainable despite opposition criticism of borrowing levels.

The Minister, who has just delivered the 2016 budget, says the country could borrow more if needed.

He told parliament the Cook Islands has one of the lowest debt profiles in the Pacific, even compared to Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Brown put the country's net debt to gross domestic product at 23.6 percent, well below the 35 percent benchmark.

Cook Islands News reports him saying the government has committed to not go above 30 percent of GDP.

But Mr Brown also told parliament there have been in discussions with the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund to raise the debt servicing to total revenue ratio above five percent.