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* Sri Lanka not under 'threat' from US-China trade tensions, says PM
Wed, Sep 12, 2018, 01:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 12, Hanoi: Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the country is not under 'threat' from growing China-U.S. trade tensions, as Chinese investments are not significant as Chinese loans.

In an interview with the CNBC on Wednesday, the Sri Lankan Premier said there is a fair amount of China loans and investments but the investments can't be seen as a threat, since the investments are as not big as loans and loans are still dollar-denominated.

However, the Premier said China was the main lender from 2008-2015 and there were short-term issues with China regarding the Hambantota Harbor and Mattala Airport and they have been sorted out. "At least we have turned them into profitable projects."

However, as far as the loans are concerned the biggest chunk today would be international sovereign bonds that needed to be repaid.

"We did point out that two much of borrowings can cause issues for us but the biggest segment of debt is what we raised on international markets and we are committed to repay them. We can't renegotiate them. With China or any other country we have some room but certainly not with the international sovereign bonds," he said.

In responding to a question about the depreciating Sri Lanka Rupee, the Prime Minister said the government is pushing for increased export earnings.

"We are staying with the fiscal limits that have been set. We have borrowed sufficient money and we are pushing for export earnings. Last year we had about US$ 11.7 billion of exports. This year we expect more," he said.

 

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