Sri Lanka has to guard against external risks: IMF

Nov 20, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has expressed a commitment to keep the budget deficit down next year, but the country has to guard against external risks and boost its business climate, a top International Monetary Fund official said. Meanwhile Shinohara said a lower deficit would also reduce the need for future foreign borrowings.

He said Sri Lanka had room to strengthen its external position and foreign reserves.

A slowing external environment could also slow exports in the future, he said.

Sri Lanka was also expected to grow at 6.5 percent in 2013 and 2014 according to IMF projects and inflation was expected to be stable.

To keep long term growth and foreign direct investment high the business climate and transparency had to be improved, he said.

Reducing the budget deficit, boosting infrastructure and maintaining low inflation and macro-economic stability would help the private sector expand and bring growth, he said.

IMF deputy managing director Naoyuki Shinohara, said Sri Lanka had managed inflation, economic growth and the exchange rate was stable and authorities showed a strong commitment to keep the budget deficit down.

Sri Lanka has a large budget deficit because the state spends more mon