US$ 90M emergency assistance from China

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Chinese government   has agreed to provide USD 90 million in emergency relief to Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China, Dr Palitha Kohona told Finance Today.

It is also stated that rice and medical aid will also be provided under this.

It is said that rice will be delivered to Sri Lanka next month and medical aid is already being sent to Sri Lanka.

In addition, the Government is looking at the possibility of unconditionally converting the Yuan-denominated USD 1.5 billion swap facility currently available with China into a medium-term soft loan

In another concession, China has recently agreed to refinance its maturing USD 1 billion loan, although tenor and rates are unknown. Sri Lanka, however, has so far declined the refinancing facility, as it has decided to restructure all of its foreign debt, including bilateral arrangements on the principle that all external debtors are treated equally.

Sri Lanka has also applied for USD 100 million in emergency funding through the Chinese-led Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), where Sri Lanka is also a participant.

By Ishara Gamage