(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Ramin Toloui, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the US Department of State says the U.S. hopes that China would join India and Paris Club to provide the financing assurances needed for Sri Lanka, distressed by the economic crisis, to obtain IMF financial relief.
In an interview with WION TV, the U.S. top official said India has shown real leadership in offering financing assurances and the Paris Club of which the United States is a part has also offered those financing assurances that will be necessary for Sri Lanka to launch its International Monetary Fund (IMF) relief program.
“The Paris Club of which the United States is a part has also offered those financing assurances that are basically a way of saying that we are pledging that we’re going to provide debt relief that will help get Sri Lanka on a sustainable course,” Toloui noted.
“Unfortunately, China hasn’t provided those assurances yet, and we very much hope that they will because China is a major creditor of Sri Lanka, and it’s very important that all major creditors come together to help the nation and other countries that are suffering from debt distress to find a way out and stabilize the economic situation and lay the groundwork for again a return to rising living standards in these countries.”
The Assistant Secretary emphasized that it’s very important that when a country is willing to undertake difficult economic reforms and do its part to put its economy back on the right track, the creditor of countries also be willing to provide the debt relief that’s compatible with making those economic plans successful.
“India has done this in the case of Sri Lanka, the Paris Club has and we look forward to China also joining in on that,” he added.
When asked what the U.S. has been doing when it comes to supporting Sri Lanka, the top official said the U.S. has been very supportive of Sri Lank to get the IMF program launched.
“The key most important at the beginning is to make sure that the humanitarian needs are met when this crisis really intensified last year and now, we’ve been very supportive of Sri Lanka trying to get an IMF program launched.”
“The enabling condition for that program to be launched is really the agreement among all the creditors to provide Sri Lanka with necessary debt relief. And so, we hope that we’re close to this time when China would join India and the Paris Club in offering these assurances so that we can launch an IMF program to help Sri Lanka,” U.S. Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs said.