China not against debt restructuring: President

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The Chinese Government expects Sri Lanka to commence negotiations with China’s Exim Bank on debt restructuring, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

The President said this while addressing the 2022 Economic Summit organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo yesterday (05).

The President said that the talks with China were delayed due to the Chinese Communist Party’s Conference and added that the talks will be expedited as the Conference has ended.

He also said that China has not objected to Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring.

Meanwhile, the President said Sri Lanka should pay more attention to green hydrogen for a sustainable future.

He said the private sector should focus more on this sector, which has greater potential than the solar energy industry.

The President pointed out that land laws should also be reconsidered and changes should be made to make them more accessible to investors, adding that what Sri Lanka urgently needs is a new economy and not reforms.

The President said that Sri Lanka can easily be transformed into a major supply center and that visionary steps are being taken to achieve this goal.

President Wickremesinghe said that Colombo Port is planned to be extended up to Ja-Ela and more than 30 acres of Colombo has been allocated for the development of the port.

The President said the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) should be given for development, and that Japan was the first to get involved in this.

He emphasized that maintaining a small port will not do much service to the economy, and that the port should be promoted aggressively and Sri Lanka should be made a major supply centre.

The President said that the Trincomalee Port is being developed and the Hambantota Port has had a great positive impact on the local maritime sector.

The President also said that the agricultural sector should be developed by using new technology.

Apart from this, he said that education can make a large contribution to Sri Lanka’s economy.

Parameswaran Iyer, Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog (National Institute for the Transformation of India), who delivered the keynote speech at the Economic Summit, said that India will invest in Sri Lanka and support Sri Lanka in the energy sector, telecom, solar and wind power and port sectors.

He said that India’s Adani company is investing more than 650 million USDs mainly in the port sector.

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