Finance Minister concludes successful visit to Washington
Monday, 23 February 2015 00:00
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake visited Washington D.C. from 17-18 February and met with senior officials of the Bretton Woods institutions, the US Treasury, the US Department of State and the White House.
He met with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, the World Bankâs Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati and US Assistant Secretary for Treasury Ramin Toloui as well as US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nish Biswal and the senior officials of the White House.
Finance Minister Karunanayake briefed both the Managing Director of the World Bank and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the new Governmentâs policy agenda aimed at long-term sustainable development and inclusive growth following the 100-day program of the Government which has specific tasks to be accomplished. He emphasised that steps had already been taken to eliminate wasteful expenditure and corruption.
IMF Managing Director Lagarde warmly welcomed Finance Minister Karunanayake to the IMF and discussed all aspects of recent developments in Sri Lanka. The Minister emphasised the urgent need for increasing Government revenue and simplifying the countryâs tax administration with tax reforms for passing the benefits of the development to all Sri Lankans. The joint statement issued after the meeting stated:
âWe had a fruitful discussion about recent economic developments in Sri Lanka and the near-term outlook. These discussions will continue in the context of the next regularly scheduled Post-Program Monitoring mission led by Todd Schneider, which will visit Sri Lanka from 23 February through March 4. IMF Asia and Pacific Department Director Changyong Rhee will also join the mission to meet with senior officials.
The Post-Program Monitoring mission is expected to be followed by IMF technical assistance missions focused on tax policy and administration, public financial management and financial sector supervision.
Management level dialogue will continue on the occasion of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in April.â
The World Bank Managing Director Indrawati welcomed the new Governmentâs emphasis on improving governance, transparency and accountability and assured the World Bankâs continued assistance to Sri Lanka in its development efforts, including during this critical transformation period. She assured that the World Bank would favourably consider requests for program support under its Development Policy Loan (DPL) scheme.
Highlighting the importance of a close partnership between Sri Lanka and the World Bank Managing Director Indrawati echoed the importance of the visit by bankâs Vice President for South Asia Region Annette Dixon and team currently in Sri Lanka for ongoing consultations with the Sri Lankan authorities. Minster Karunanayake the Managing Director IndrÄvatiâs offer of assistance and invited her to visit Sri Lanka at an early date
Minister Karunanayake also met senior officials of the US Treasury and discussed developments in Sri Lanka. The Minister sought US technical assistance for capacity building in tax reforms. Assistant US Treasury Secretary Ramin Toloui assured that official level discussion would continue to identify specific areas for technical assistance.
During the visit, Minister Karunanayake met with Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, and reiterated that the Government would ensure an inclusive political culture and good governance. The Government will focus on sustainable development with the assistance of both bilateral and multilateral partners. Assistant Secretary Biswal welcomed the positive initiatives taken by the new Government towards an inclusive society in Sri Lanka.
Finance Minister Karunanayke held a meeting with the senior officials of the Department of Global Economics and Finance at the White House to discuss recent economic developments in Sri Lanka and briefed White House officials of the Governmentâs inclusive and sustainable economic policies based on good governance.
Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam were associated with the Minister at these meetings.
Meetings with World Bank, IMF MDs
IMF Managing Director Christine Largarde at the meeting with the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake and Arjuna Mahendran, Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan delegation headed by Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake together with Arjuna Mahendran, Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka had successful discussions last week with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the World Bankâs Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
The Central Bank said the delegation briefed them of the new governmentâs policy agenda aimed at
long-term sustainable development and inclusive growth.
The IMF Managing Director and Minister of Finance issued a joint statement on 18th February 2015 following the meeting. Accordingly, these discussions will continue with the senior officials in the context of the next regularly scheduled Post-Program Monitoring mission, which will visit Sri Lanka from February 23 through March 4, 2015. Further, the Post-Program Monitoring mission is expected to be followed by IMF technical assistance missions focused on tax policy and administration, public financial management, and financial sector supervision.
The World Bank Managing Director Indrawati welcomed the new governmentâs emphasis on improving governance, transparency and accountability and assured the World Bankâs continued assistance to Sri Lanka in its development efforts, including during this critical transformation period. She also assured that the World Bank would favorably consider request for program support under its Development Policy Loan (DPL) scheme.