financeminister wton 18feb2015

Washington DC, February 19: Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake visited Washington D.C. from 17th to 18th 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 Bank’s 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 International Monetary Fund (IMF) of the new government’s policy agenda aimed at long-term sustainable development and inclusive growth following the 100 day programme of the Government which has specific tasks to be accomplished. He emphasized that steps have already been taken to eliminate wasteful expenditures and corruption.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warmly welcomed Finance Minister Karunanayake to the IMF and discussed all aspects of recent developments in Sri Lanka. Minister emphasized the urgent need for increasing government revenue and simplifying country’s tax administration with tax reforms for passing benefits of the development to all Sri Lankans. The Joint Statement issued after the meeting states:

“We 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 February 23 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.”

The World Bank Managing Director Indrawati welcomed the new government’s emphasis on improving governance, transparency and accountability and assured the World Bank’s continued assistance to Sri Lanka in its development efforts, including during this critical transformation period. She assured that the World Bank would favorably consider request for program support under its Development Policy Loan (DPL) scheme. Highlighting the importance of close partnership between Sri Lanka and the World Bank and Managing Director Indrawati echoed the importance of the visit by Bank’s Vice President for South Asia Region Annette Dixon and team currently in Sri Lanka for ongoing consultations with the Sri Lankan Authorities. Minster Karunanayake appreciated Managing Director Indrāvati’s 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 will 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 will ensure an inclusive political culture and good governance. The Government will focus on sustainable development with the assistance 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 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 Government’s 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.





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