Japanese Ambassador Suganuma exchange notes with Dr. R H S Samaratunga

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament Thursday that Japan has agreed to provide about US$ 2.5 billion worth development-policy loan to Sri Lanka.

This has been revealed yesterday when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Special Representative Hiroto Izumi called on Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe, Finance Minister said.

“Izumi also talked about issuing USD1.2bn bond,” Karunanayake said.

“We are using this yen loan for the goods we are importing from Japan. Japan has provided us with a yen loan with 0.05 per cent interest.”

Karunanayake, however, said due to the exchange rate risk the government is looking for a dollar swap for the yen loan. Finance Minister pointed out that the country had to pay thrice for the loans taken for the Port in 1980, because of exchange rate depreciation.
“So the Central Bank will get a dollar swap protecting the exchange rate fluctuation risk,” Karunanayake said.

“Even with the swap we still have about 2 per cent interest advantage against a commercial bond.”

Finance Minister further stated that the government is also looking at taking about one billion US dollars below 2 percent interest  from the newly established Asian Infrastructure Bank by July. (LBO)

Japanese aid for Jaffna varsity The Government of Japan last week announced an approximately Rs. 2.2 billion grant (1,667 million Japanese Yen) to the Government of Sri Lanka for the establishment of a Research and Training Complex at the University of Jaffna’s Agriculture Faculty.

According to the Japanese Embassy, the objective of this project is to provide  effective and efficient research and education activities on dry zone agriculture in the northern region at the Faculty.

“This project will comprise the establishment of a Research and Training Complex, a Processing Training Building and a Research and Training Farm with provision of essential equipment. The people and the Government of Japan hope that this project will enhance research and human resources development in the area of agriculture suited for northern area, thereby, contributing to improve agriculture productivity in the region,” the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

The signing of the Exchange of Notes took place today between Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, Kenichi Suganuma, and Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning Dr. R H S Samaratunga, at the Ministry premises. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D M Swaminathan and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, Hiroto Izumi, who is currently in Sri Lanka, testified the signing.