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Amid rising Chinese debt Sri Lanka sells 80% of Hambantota port to Chinese firm

Sri Lanka will sell 80 percent of the $1.5 billion Hambantota port to a Chinese firm, reports Reuters.
Speaking at the country’s Foreign Correspondents Association on Thursday, Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said,
“The value will be more than the $1billion and the deal will be signed around the second week of November. For somebody like the Chinese, it is the silk route transit point.”
The announcement comes after Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on a visit to China in April ,discussed swapping equity in Sri Lankan infrastructure projects to reduce some of the $8 billion debt it has with China.
Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena temporarily suspended further Chinese infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, including a $1.4 billion property project, however amidst a climate of a mounting balance of payments deficit the project was allowed to continue.

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