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Sri Lanka debt talks with India, China successful: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Debt re-structuring talks with India and China are successful, President Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament as the country is trying get an International Monetary Fund bailout.

“I can tell this assembly that the talks are successful,” President Wickremesinghe told parliament.

“Very soon we will have an answer.”

Sri Lanka has raised taxes and tightened spending to bring a wide budget deficit and unsustainable debt under control. Formal assurances that creditors are willing to re-structure debt has to be given.

State Minister for Finance Shehan Semasinghe said Sri Lanka is expecting to get executive board approval for an International Monetary Fund program by March.

“The President, the Finance Ministry, the central bank and line ministries have done a lot of work,” he said.

“The good results of that work is coming. We have done a lot of work on financial assurances.”

A high level delegation of China’s Communist Party (CPC), led by Vice Minister Chen Zhou, Head of the CPC International Department called on Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on January 16.

“Sri Lanka is a very special friend of China and we are considering how we could assist Sri Lanka to get over the current crisis,” Chen Zhou was quoted as saying.

“You will have some good news soon.”

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