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Sri Lanka PM Urges Rapid Response from IMF Team

Sri Lanka is in talks with the IMF for a loan package to help navigate its worst economic crisis in seven decades

Sri Lanka crisis
A woman wrestles a gas cylinder in fuel-starved Sri Lanka. The island country is one of a number of poorer states struggling with debt crises that have caused social upheaval. File photo: Reuters.


Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday he had asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to send a delegation to the crisis-hit country as soon as possible to finalise a staff-level agreement.

“The Prime Minister explained that negotiations regarding bridging finance was reliant on Sri Lanka and the IMF concluding a staff-level agreement,” Wickremesinghe’s office said in a statement.

Sri Lanka is in talks with the IMF for a loan package to help navigate its worst economic crisis in seven decades.

On Tuesday, Wickremesinghe said the country is renegotiating terms of a yuan swap deal with China worth $1.5 billion to fund essential imports.



The country will need $5 billion over the next six months to ensure basic living standards, the prime minister said on Tuesday.

An IMF staff team has concluded a virtual mission with the Sri Lankan authorities to discuss an economic programme that could be supported by an IMF lending arrangement.

“The IMF team held technical discussions on a comprehensive reform package to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability,” an IMF statement said.

“The team made good progress in assessing the economic situation and in identifying policy priorities to be taken going forward.”


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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