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IMF’s Georgieva to press for quicker action on debt relief with China

(Reuters) – International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday that she will travel to Beijing next week with heads of other international institutions to press for quicker action on debt relief for poor and developing countries.The meetings with the country's leadership will focus on China's economic, COVID-19 and debt relief policies and will include officials from China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China, the IMF said."This is the first time, hopefully, we will be able to sit together and discuss the very pressing issues that China, and the world are faced with," Georgieva told the Reuters NEXT conference.Georgieva said that during the Beijing meetings she intends to discuss ways to accelerate China's participation in debt relief for poor and developing countries as the world's largest official bilateral creditor."I am very hopeful that when we have a chance next week to discuss these issues, we will continue on a path of finding better solutions and strengthening the capacity of the common framework to deliver," she said, referring to G20 countries' slow-to-launch common debt restructuring framework.World Bank President David Malpass told the conference that he would join the discussions in Beijing, along with officials from the World Trade Organization, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and others.Georgieva and Malpass have both called for reforms of the common framework to offer heavily indebted countries a freeze in debt service payments when they apply for debt relief and clearer timelines for reaching agreement on debt treatments.Asked if China's slowing growth would limit its appetite for agreeing to debt reductions, Georgieva said she hoped

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Is Sri Lanka on track to access funds from the IMF? - newsfirst.lk - China - city Beijing - Japan - India - Sri Lanka - Washington
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Is Sri Lanka on track to access funds from the IMF?
Sri Lanka, which is under an ongoing economic crisis, is headed for another major turbulence as the country will not be able to secure the much-needed IMF loan in December as its ally and debtor China is yet to initiate a dialogue on debt restructuring with Colombo.A report in the Hindustan Times quoting financial analysts based in Washington said that Sri Lanka will miss the IMF deadline and will have to wait till March next year to secure a loan of $2.9 billion, as Beijing was involved in the 20th National Party Congress.The next meeting of the IMF executive board is in March 2023, Sri Lanka will most likely have to wait until then for IMF Board approval, and access to the funds.Why is China's involvement so important to access IMF funds?Sri Lanka is now considered a country that defaulted on its external debt because the island nation lacked foreign reserves for debt servicing.According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Finance Ministry, Sri Lanka's total debt was $36 billion at the end of 2021.Of this total debt, Colombo owes some 52% in bilateral credit to China, 19.5% to Japan, and 12% to India.One of the main conditions for Sri Lanka to tap the USD 2.9 Billion funding from the International Monetary Fund is debt reconciliation and restructuring.Bilateral means transactions between two countries, and there is an institution that operates with the support of the International Monetary Fund to talk about bilateral debt, and this is called the Paris Club.Sri Lanka has obtained a large number of loans from Japan, India, and China, and among them, only Japan is a member of the Paris Club.India is openly supporting Sri Lanka's engagement with the IMF, and avenues are open for Sri Lanka to discuss debt
China remains the most sincere and reliable friend of Sri Lanka – Ambassador - newsfirst.lk - China - city Beijing - Taiwan - Sri Lanka
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China remains the most sincere and reliable friend of Sri Lanka – Ambassador
COLOMBO (News 1st) – China is a most sincere and reliable friend of Sri Lanka, notes the Ambassador Qi Zhenhong in a statement released by the Embassy in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.The Ambassador also visited several key Chinese enterprises and projects in Sri Lanka to meet with the local and the Chinese staff to pass wishes for the National Day holiday in China.The full statement of the Chinese Embassy is as follows:On the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and with the approaching of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, I would like to wish the country prosperity and progress, our people health and happiness, and best regards to all the Chinese fellow citizens working, studying and living in Sri Lanka! I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our Sri Lankan friends from all walks of life, who have always been following and supporting the development of China and China-Sri Lanka relations!In the past year, the world has gone through tremendous changes. Under the strong leadership of CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, we have overcome adverse effects brought by complexed international challenges,sporadic outbreaks of COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictable earthquakes, floods and droughts, and China’s economy has maintained a stabilized and increasing momentum with much potential to be released.
Bandula Gunawardena - Ranil Wickremesinghe - President meets Chinese Ambassador behind closed doors - newsfirst.lk - China - city Beijing - Japan - India - Sri Lanka - Australia
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President meets Chinese Ambassador behind closed doors
COLOMBO (News 1st); President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Ambassador to China Qi Zhenhong met on Saturday (06), President's Media Division confirmed.The closed-door meeting was held at the request of the Chinese Ambassador. The meeting took place against a backdrop where the arrival of the Chinese vessel 'Yuan Wang 5' at Hambantota Port in located in the Sea of Sri Lanka, has sparked controversy in the region.Initially, Sri Lankan authorities said that there was no information that such a ship would arrive.However, a few days later, Cabinet Spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena confirmed that the ship will remain at the Hambantota port from August 11th to 17th for refueling and replenishment.Sri Lankan authorities also pointed out that it is routine for ships of friendly nations such as India, Australia, Japan and China to visit Sri Lankan ports.However, amid strong protest from India, the Foreign Ministry has requested for the ship's arrival to be deferred, according to a release issued by the Ministry.The Foreign Ministry has requested the Chinese Embassy to defer the arrival of the vessel, “until further consultations” are made between the two Governments.Moreover, reports indicate that the Chinese Embassy will consult  Beijing before responding to Sri Lankan authorities on the deferral.
Chinese Research Vessel to Hambantota? - newsfirst.lk - China - city Beijing - India - Sri Lanka - county Ocean - Burma
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Chinese Research Vessel to Hambantota?
COLOMBO (News 1st); India on Thursday said it was aware of reports about the planned visit of a Chinese vessel to a Sri Lankan port built with money from Beijing.However, according to The Hindu website, Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry has denied reports that a Chinese research vessel would enter the Hambantota Port in August this year.The Hindu said that the Belt & Road Initiative Sri Lanka, a Colombo-based organization studying China’s ambitious connectivity project, on its website said that the research and survey vessel Yuan Wang 5 which set sail from the Chinese port of Jiangyin on July 13, is now in the East China Sea, and was expected to dock in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port from August 11-17 for ‘replenishment’ while it continues to conduct Space and Satellite control and research activities in the north-western part of the Indian Ocean Region.India's foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a weekly media briefing "The government carefully monitors any developments having a bearing on India's security and economic interests, and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them," IHe also said, "I think that should be a clear message."The Hindu quoted a spokesperson from Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry who denied reports that a Chinese research vessel involved in space and satellite tracking would enter the Hambantota port in August this year, even as India sent a “clear message” that it was monitoring the ship’s progress “carefully”.A Defence Ministry spokesman told The Hindu in Colombo “We have no confirmation of such a vessel calling at the Hambantota port,” India has long been worried about dual-use facilities of Chinese infrastructure projects spanning Myanmar to Eastern African states in what comes as a
Ranil Wickremesinghe - IMF says Sri Lanka needs to talk with China about debt restructuring - newsfirst.lk - China - city Beijing - Japan - India - Sri Lanka - Washington
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IMF says Sri Lanka needs to talk with China about debt restructuring
(Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Sri Lanka should kick off debt restructuring talks with its bilateral lender China, while the island state's government seeks a financing loan from the Washington-based fund."China is a big creditor, and Sri Lanka has to engage proactively with it on a debt restructuring," Krishna Srinivasan, director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.The island of 22 million is currently engulfed by its most severe economic and political crisis in recent history.Six-time prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was recently appointed as president after a popular uprising ousted his predecessor following months of severe shortages of fuel, food and medicines.The government recently decided to restrict fuel imports for 12 months.The country owes Beijing some $6.5 billion in financing including development bank loans and a central bank swap, according to data from the Institute of International Finance (IFF).The world's second-largest economy has invested in projects such as highways, a port, an airport and a coal power plant. Japan and India are also bilateral creditors to Sri Lanka."Sri Lanka has to engage with its creditors, both private and official bilateral, on a debt workout to ensure debt sustainability is restored," Srinivasan said, as he pointed out that technical talks on a new IMF program are ongoing with both officials from the finance ministry and the central bank.Sri Lanka's foreign ministry and central bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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