Ranil: India to be a bridge between developing countries and G20

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The Sri Lankan President made the remarks while addressing the Concluding Leaders’ session of a two-day Voice of Global South Summit hosted by India virtually…reports Susitha Fernando

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed that India was in the best position to act as a bridge between the developing countries which are facing a debt crisis and the G20 in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds the current chairmanship.

The Sri Lankan President made the remarks while addressing the Concluding Leaders’ session of a two-day Voice of Global South Summit hosted by India virtually.

Addressing the Summit, Sri Lankan Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe said that the delay in getting the debt assurance from bilateral creditors which has dragged the much-needed bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was taking a heavy toll on 22 million people in the island nation which is going through the harshest economic crisis since its 1948 independence.

“… we are confident of securing the approvals with the assistance of our partners. However, this uncertainty surrounding technical concerns and the delay in the vital approval is taking a heavy toll on the people of Sri Lanka,” Minister Semasinghe was quoted as saying at his address virtually from Colombo.

“The discussions are undergoing, and such technical issues and delays are taking a heavy toll on the lives of the country’s people. Therefore, we expect, through mutual understanding, the final step in this process would take place soon,” the State Minister urged.

The IMF has agreed a $2.9 billion conditional bailout package to Sri Lanka but the country has to convince the bilateral creditors including India, China and Japan, the major lenders to restructure the loans they have lent.

With 10 sessions in total, the Summit saw the participation of Leaders and Ministers from 125 countries of the Global South including Sri Lanka. Under the theme ‘Unity of Voice, Unity of Purpose’, this one of a kind Summit focused on priorities, perspectives and concerns of the developing world.

The Summit was particularly relevant as the world passes through a difficult period marked by challenges to health, food security, affordable access to energy, climate finance and technologies, and economic growth, Indian High Commission in Colombo stated.

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