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Sri Lanka strikes debt restructure deal with bilateral creditors, declares the President

By: Staff Writer

June 27, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe says that today marks an important day in the country’s recent history and a unique turning point, as Sri Lanka reached final restructuring agreements for its external debt owed to bilateral creditors.

Delivering a special address to the nation on Wednesday (26) evening, the Head of State said that the country is benefitting from the positive results of the hard work carried out by the government in the recent past.

He said that this morning, Sri Lanka reached a final restructuring agreement for USD 5.8 billion of debt with its bilateral lenders’ Official Creditor Committee in Paris, France.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka today also signed debt treatment agreements with the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) in Beijing to restructure USD 4.2 billion of debt.

He stated that the necessary formal procedures are currently being implemented.“For those who truly love the country, this is a ‘good news’. Sri Lanka won,” he declared in the televised speech.

Wickremesinghe states that as Sri Lanka has reached agreements with the bilateral creditors, the international trust in the country will be increased.“This is an international assurance in a certain way”, Wickremesinghe expressed.

“The international communities, who didn’t even accept the letters of credit from us, are now at a situation which gives us a certification of trust”, he added.

Commenting further, the Head of the State highlighted that both the agreements reached today will be tabled in the Parliament by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena during the special parliamentary session to be convened on July 02.

The President urged all the members representing the Parliament, who are patriotic to the country to help pass these agreements in Parliament”, said.

Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe emphasized that the country cannot find solutions to the economic issues through strikes or threats, but by joining hands for strengthening the economy.

n his special statement, President Wickremesinghe announced that debt restructuring agreements will postpone all bilateral loan payments to foreign countries until 2028. Additionally, Sri Lanka will have until 2043 to repay these loans on concessional terms, he said.

The President also highlighted that in 2022, Sri Lanka allocated 9.2% of its GDP to foreign debt payments. However, with ongoing efforts, this percentage is expected to decrease to less than 4.5% between 2027 and 2032, reflecting significant fiscal improvement, he said.

Wickremesinghe said that Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena will present these agreements to Parliament on July 2nd, and urged all patriotic MPs to help ratify them.

President Wickremesinghe stated that “while a few are trying to disrupt the country’s progress, they will one day have to face shame before their children for betraying their nation.”

The President noted that as the country’s economic conditions improved, relief was provided to the people. He emphasized that continuing on the correct path to strengthen the economy can further alleviate existing difficulties, adding that issues cannot be resolved through protests and threats.

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