Chinese Ambassador lauds Sri Lanka’s remarkable economic recovery
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qi Shenhong praised Sri Lanka’s economic recovery process in the last twelve months.
The meeting was called on by Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, who expressed gratitude to China for its continuous support to Sri Lanka.
Chinese Ambassador congratulated Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and commended the country for impressive progress in overcoming the economic crisis during the first year of the new Government.
Prime Minister Gunawardena also expressed his gratitude to China for its most recent kind act of generosity for Sri Lanka’s educational system.
The Chinese Government offered school bags, stationery, clothing for school uniforms and educational equipment to schools countrywide.
The assistance will lead to a positive impact on the educational landscape and facilitate a conducive learning environment for Sri Lankan students.
With Sri Lanka striving to boost its economic recovery, Prime Minister Gunawardena emphasized the country’s openness to welcome direct private investments, particularly for sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, irrigation, and water supply.
These investments are envisioned to provide long-term solutions to the economic challenges faced by the country.
Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake was also present during the meeting, underscoring the importance of the discussions and highlighting the collaborative efforts between Sri Lanka and China.
China’s support and cooperation have been instrumental in various development initiatives in Sri Lanka, and their continuous engagement with the country underscores the strong bilateral ties shared between the two countries.
This support comes at a time when the country is navigating a severe economic crisis that is having devastating impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods and which demands deep reforms to stabilize the economy and protect the poor and vulnerable.
Sri Lanka’s poverty rate is estimated to have doubled from 13.1 to 25 percent between 2021 and 2022—an addition of 2.5 million poor people—and is projected to increase by another 2.4 percentage points in 2023.
The government lays out a two-phased approach that starts with a focus on urgent macro-fiscal and structural reforms and support to protect the human capital and most vulnerable population.
After the first 18-24 months, and subject to successful implementation of the reform program and international debt relief and financial support, the focus will gradually shift to investments in longer-term development needs that will help promote private sector job creation—particularly for women and youth—and boost resilience to climate and external shocks.
The Sri Lanka resilience, stability and economic turnaround (RESET) development policy operation ($500 million) will support reforms that help improve economic governance, enhance growth and competitiveness, and protect the poor and vulnerable.
It will provide budget support in two equal tranches against agreed prior actions.
The Social protection project ($200 million) seeks to support Sri Lanka in providing better-targeted income and livelihood opportunities to the poor and vulnerable and improving the responsiveness of the social protection system.