Japan is seeking to organise a Sri Lanka creditors’ conference, hoping it could help solve the South Asia nation’s debt crisis, but uncertainties cloud the outlook for any talks, three people with knowledge of the planning said.
Tokyo is open to hosting talks among all the creditor nations aimed at lifting Colombo from its worst debt crisis since independence, but it is not clear whether top creditor China would join and a lack of clarity remains about Sri Lanka’s finances, one source told Reuters.
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Japan would be willing to chair such a meeting with China if that would speed up the process for addressing Sri Lanka’s debt, estimated at $6.2 billion on a bilateral basis at the end of 2020, this source said.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Reuters last week that Sri Lanka would ask Japan to invite the main creditor nations to talks on restructuring bilateral debts. He said he would discuss the issue with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo next month, when he is expected to attend the funeral of the assassinated former premier Shinzo Abe.