The government is to hold debt restructuring talks with India, one of the key creditors, during a scheduled visit by India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar who is due here next Thursday, President Ranil Wickremesinghe told trade union leaders yesterday.
“We discussed China’s Exim Bank earlier this week and by now we have started exchanging views on it. India’s External Affairs Minister is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on January 19 to discuss the debt restructuring process. We are proceeding with these activities gradually,” President Wickremesinghe said.
During Mr Jaishankar’s visits, two memorandums of understanding are likely to be signed.
One of the MoUs is for the Trincomalee development project and the other for a power grid connectivity project with India, the Sunday Times learns.
Meanwhile, a high-level Chinese delegation led by Chen Zhou, Vice Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party, arrived here yesterday for bilateral talks.
Mr. Chen met President Wickremesinghe last evening and delivered a letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Chinese Embassy in a twitter message said, “They had friendly and fruitful dialogue on how to enhance bilateral pragmatic cooperation and party-to-party exchanges”.
Earlier this week, China’s Exim Bank Chairman Wu Fulin held a virtual meeting with President Wickremesinghe on the debt restructuring process and cooperation between the two countries.
Commenting on the status of the ongoing debt restructuring programme, President Wickremesinghe said the government had completed talks with Japan — one of the three main creditors to Sri Lanka, besides China and India.
Following these talks, the President stressed that the country would be able to secure USD 2.7 billion Extended Fund Facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in three or four instalments.
“In addition, we have the capacity to get USD 5 billion from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and others. By the end of the year, a number of different programmes are scheduled to resume with Japan,” the President said, explaining the path to recovery from the economic crisis the country currently undergoes.