President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (May 25) expressed his appreciation for the support extended by Japan to Sri Lanka for the economic recovery process.
He conveyed this during the bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.
“We have made remarkable headway as far as the debt restructuring talks are concerned,” Reuters quoted President Wickremesinghe as saying.
He has also expressed confidence that the island nation should be able to conclude the newly-launched debt restructuring talks by September, or November at the latest.
Citing a Japanese official, Reuters said the meeting between the two leaders, their first since last September, is unlikely to generate a new initiative but both sides would take a stock of the efforts to restructure debt.
President Wickremesinghe also met with former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga this morning and invited Japanese investments while outlining the economic recovery in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan leader also attended a breakfast meeting hosted by former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and the Japan-Sri Lanka Association in Tokyo earlier today, the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.
President Wickremesinghe’s meeting comes after Japan, India and France jointly unveiled a common platform for talks among bilateral creditors to co-ordinate debt restructuring.
The island nation defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time in its history in April last year as the worst financial crisis since independence from Britain in 1948 crushed its economy.
The IMF called this week for timely restructuring pacts with the country’s creditors. The global lender said Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic situation was improving, although earlier it had predicted the economy would contract this year.