Ranil, Japanese PM hold talks, sign multiple agreements

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had talks in Tokyo today and later both countries signed multiple agreements.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said that following the Japan-Sri Lanka Summit Meeting, Kenichi Suganuma, Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, and Prof. Dammika Ganganath Disanayake, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to Japan signed and exchanged notes concerning two yen loan projects and one grant aid project in Tokyo, in the presence of Shinzo Abeand Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Among the agreements signed was the “Rural Infrastructure Development Project in Emerging Regions” (yen loan 12.957 billion yen) which looks to improve basic infrastructure (local roads, small and medium-sized irrigation, and small-scale water supplies), directly connected to the lives and production activities of people in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, Eastern Province, North Central Province and Uva Province, where development had been delayed due to the conflict and others.

Sri Lanka and Japan also signed the “Kalu Ganga Water Supply Expansion Project (I)” (yen loan 31.81 billion yen) which will see the construction of new waterworks facilities and to reconstruct the water supply system for the Kalu Ganga river system in Kalutara District and Colombo District in the Western Province.

The terms of the two loans are interest rate : 1.4% per annum (0.01% per annum for the consulting services), repayment period : 25 years (including a seven-year grace period) and procurement terms : General untied.

Sri Lanka and Japan also signed the “Economic and Social Development Programme” (grant aid: 1 billion yen) which will look to realize safer and more efficient management in the Port of Trincomalee, which receives favorable terms as anchorage, by providing equipment relating to port facilities manufactured in Japan to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

As the Port of Trincomalee is located in the Eastern Province, it is expected that the project will contribute to the restoration of conflict-affected areas. (Colombo Gazette)