Bangladesh yet to decide on USD 250 M swap

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As Sri Lanka’s debt burden is apparently becoming increasingly heavy to handle and it is also struggling to pay for imports of fuel and other necessities, leading to power cuts and other shortages, the country has made a request for another swap of USD 250 million, but no decision has been made yet from the Bangladesh side, said Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen. 

“They have made another approach and we will look into it. It will be another loan but it is not decided yet,” he said while responding to a question in an interview on the side-lines of the 18th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting in Colombo.

It is not clear how things will work out amid the Russia-Ukraine war, which has created uncertainty for import-dependent Bangladesh, Momen said, adding, “So, we are watching it and seeing how we can help each other.”

Momen said when debt-ridden Sri Lanka faced difficulties, Bangladesh, for the first time, provided a loan of USD 250 million through currency swap.

“Sri Lanka is still going through deepening financial difficulties. So, we extended the time for the repayment.”

It was the first-ever loan to any country from Bangladesh under the currency swap agreement inked by the BB and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on August 3 last year.