Sri Lanka signs up US$290mn in railway, airport loans from China

Mar 10, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has signed up 290 million US dollars in financing from China’s Exim Bank to build an airport in the south of the island and expand railways, the foreign ministry said. The ‘A9’ is the main highway that links the northern Jaffna peninsular with the South. The highway is now open to civilian traffic.

China committed 1,200 million US dollars to Sri Lanka in 2009 becoming the largest lender, the finance ministry has said. The Exim Bank of China is giving 190 million US dollars for an airport in Mattala, in the southern Hambantota district. China is also giving 100 million US dollar loan to Sri Lanka Railways.

The foreign ministry said loan deals were signed by Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera during a visit to Beijing from March 03 to 05.

Both China and India is financing the re-building of railways in former war zones in Sri Lanka’s north.

Jayasundera had also met Exim Bank vice president Zhu Hong Jie and had discussion about the ” speeding up the evaluation process for the construction of the A9 highway,” the foreign ministry said.