Video Duration 26 minutes 00 seconds
From: Counting the Cost

It’s not just the pandemic: Why Sri Lanka’s economy is in crisis

Colombo avoids a debt default, but it’s fast running out of money to pay for imports. Will the IMF provide a bailout?

Sri Lanka’s finances are in a precarious state, but the economy was already in trouble before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between 2005 and 2015, Colombo borrowed billions from China, accumulating a mountain of debt. It was forced to hand over a port to a Chinese company after failing to keep up with payments. But Beijing is making more loans. Asia Frontier Capital’s Ruchir Desai explains why China and India are keen to help Colombo out.

Elsewhere, crisis-hit Lebanon has its third prime minister in 12 months. Diana Menhem, managing director of civic organisation Kulluna Irada, tells us little will change with the same politicians in power.