Loans granted by the Chinese Government to developing countries are highly beneficial and it was on the request of the Sri Lankan Government that these loans were granted, said Ren Faqiang, Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka.
He added that these loans were favourable to Sri Lanka especially in a post-war period where reconstruction plays a vital role in the development of the country’s economy.
Faqiang stated that politicians often accused the previous Government of obtaining loans from China on high interest rates. He added that in order to defeat their political opponents they praised Western countries and neighbouring India.
However, the IMF’s decision not to grant a five billion dollar loan proves that the present Government has failed in its attempts to win over western nations, Faqiang asserted.
He said that a representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was in Sri Lanka for a special inspection tour of the economy. During the mission the representative turned down a request made by the present Government for a five billion-dollar low interest loan.
In many instances where other countries declined to grant loans to Sri Lanka, China has always rendered its support by providing loan facilities, Faqiang told the media., adding that China also offered commercial loans on a considerable interest rate,.
During a post-war period such loans are essential to improving power stations, road networks and ports. All these factors were essential for future economic growth, the official noted.
Almost 50% of the country’s electricity is generated by the Puttalam Coal Power Station which was funded by a Chinese company. The Colombo-Katunayake expressway was built with Chinese funding.
Faqiang explained that although the A9 road was destroyed during the war it was reconstructed in just over two years with loans from the Chinese Government and this has made travel between the north and the south much easier.
Elaborating on this point, Faqiang said that this had also helped in the transportation of mangoes and agricultural products to Colombo and the strengthening of the relationship between the people of these two regions of the country. Reuters