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China approves $1 billion to Sri Lanka after years of delays

After a series of delays, China’s Exim Bank has approved a $1 billion loan to Sri Lanka as part of Colombo’s Central Expressway project.

However, delays in approving the loan have reportedly cost Sri Lanka an extra Rs 12 billion, which factors in the rising cost of building materials and currency fluctuations. 

The project, which will see the construction of an expressway just 37km in the south, was initially discussed in 2015. “Sri Lanka’s financial situation, political issues and adverse reports about utilisation of funds for various projects delayed the approval of the loan,” The Sri Lanka Treasury’s External Resources Department, Director General R.M.P. Rathnayake told the Sunday Times

Though the first stretch of the expressway was due to be completed by 2020, it seems the project will extend for at least another three years.

See more from the Sunday Times here.