Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Seeks Global Investment, Funding for Economic Recovery – Times of India


COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Saturday the crisis-stricken country welcomes investment, technology transfer and financing for its sustainability efforts and debt restructuring cooperation to support economic recovery at this critical time.
Gotabaya, who addressed the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Japan’s Kumamoto via video link, said that despite significant resource constraints, much exacerbated by the pandemic and the ongoing financial crisis, the island nation’s commitment to development and supporting a progressive agenda on the environment remains unchanged, the Daily Mirror reports.
“Sri Lanka welcomes investment, technology transfer and financing for our sustainability efforts, as well as broader development assistance and debt restructuring cooperation to support our economic recovery at this critical time,” the embattled president was quoted as saying.
Sri Lanka has struggled with unprecedented economic turmoil since independence from Britain in 1948.
The crisis is partly caused by a lack of foreign currency, which prevents the country from paying for imports of basic food and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.
Addressing the summit titled “Water for Sustainable Development: Best Practices and the Next Generation,” Gotabaya said his government’s national goal is to improve water-related infrastructure, including clean water supply and sanitation for all in the coming years. three years.
He said that even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the government was able to increase the number of new water connections to the public by more than 50 percent compared to what had been achieved annually in previous years.
“Several projects have also been undertaken to improve water cycle management.
“These achievements reflect our emphasis on inclusiveness and promoting participatory growth for all Sri Lankans, which is at the heart of my administration’s development efforts,” the president added.
The island nation is witnessing large-scale protests against the government’s handling of its debt-ridden economy – the worst economic crisis in the country’s history.
Protests demanding the resignation of the president and his Sri Lanka Podujana (Peramuna)-led government have intensified as deficits persisted and prices rose.
Last week, the Sri Lankan government said it would temporarily default on $35.5 billion in foreign debt as the pandemic and war in Ukraine made it impossible to make payments to foreign creditors.
Treasury Secretary Ali Sabri, who was in the US to negotiate a rescue package with the International Monetary Fund, said on Friday that Sri Lanka will receive $300-600 million from the World Bank over the next four months to buy medicines and other supplies.

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