Japan’s Finance Minister embarks on official visit to SL amidst debt restructuring talks
January 11, Colombo (LNW): Japanese Finance Minister Shun’ichi Suzuki commenced an official visit to Sri Lanka today (11).
The visit, scheduled to extend until January 12, is organised by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During this diplomatic engagement, Shunichi is slated to engage in official discussions with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry.
The Japanese Finance Minister, accompanied by a delegation, will partake in visits to significant Sri Lankan institutions, including Parliament, Jayawardene Centre, Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital, Colombo Dockyard, and the Lanka Nippon Biztec Institute in Maharagama.
The visit follows Japan’s recent emphasis on the swift finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sri Lanka and creditor nations for debt restructuring.
Japan, along with France and India, co-chairs the committee of 15 creditor nations and has stressed the importance of transparency and comparability in agreements with creditors outside the Official Creditor Committee (OCC).
Sri Lanka is currently grappling with its worst financial crisis since independence in 1948. The nation is actively seeking to restructure agreements with creditors in response to challenges such as soaring inflation, currency depreciation, and low foreign reserves, leading to an economic downturn and default on foreign debt in May 2022.
In November of the previous year, Sri Lanka and its creditors reached an agreement in principle on debt restructuring, encompassing approximately $5.9 billion of outstanding public debt. The terms involve a combination of long-term maturity extension and a reduction in interest rates.