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SL creditors’ conference: Japan willing to take the lead

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Japan is seeking to organize a Sri Lanka creditors’ conference, hoping it could help solve the South Asia nation’s debt crisis, Reuters reported.

According to the report, three people with knowledge of the planning said, however, uncertainties cloud the outlook for any talks.

One source said that Tokyo is open to hosting talks among all the creditor nations aimed at lifting Colombo from its worst debt crisis since independence.

However, it is not clear whether top creditor China would join and a lack of clarity remain about Sri Lanka’s finances.

Japan would be willing to chair such a meeting with China if that would speed up the process of addressing Sri Lanka’s debt, estimated at $6.2 billion on a bilateral basis at the end of 2020, the source added.

Last week, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka would ask Japan to invite the main creditor nations to talks on restructuring bilateral debts. 

He said he would discuss the issue with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo next month when he is expected to attend the funeral of the assassinated former premier Shinzo Abe.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team met President Wickremesinghe on Wednesday to discuss a bailout, including restructuring $29 billion in debt, as Colombo seeks a $3 billion IMF aid programme. (NewsWire)

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