He told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi that there are a fair amount of Chinese investments and loans but he can’t see it as a threat. Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka has been unaligned and have stayed that way since 1948. His comments came as Sri Lanka and China have agreed to a 99-year lease of the southern Hambantota port last year. Nations like US, Japan and India have stressed for the port to be free of military activities.
The Sri Lankan PM also rejected claims which termed his country as among Asia’s most vulnerable to global emerging market volatility. He said that he didn’t believe Sri Lankan sovereign bonds were on the verge of a downgrade. Wickremsinghe said, Sri Lanka and many others are running deficits in Asia and that certainly would be a matter of concern, but it has certainly not affected their borrowing capacity.
Prime Minister said his country is building longer-term financial stability by diversifying its exports beyond tea and apparel and into higher-value goods and services.