Saturday, January 23, 2010

IMF Upgrades Sri Lanka's Status to Middle Income Emerging Market

Move Reflects Strong Economic Performance in Recent Years

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sri Lanka will now be recognized as a country with a "Middle Income Emerging Market" status with The International Monetary Fund (IMF) graduating Sri Lanka from the list of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) eligible countries on 11 January 2010.

This upgrade would facilitate Sri Lanka to project itself strongly in international financial and capital markets, states the Central Bank.

A country graduates from PRGT only if it, (i) has enjoyed income per capita well above the International Development Association (IDA) threshold for a number of years, (ii) has the capacity for durable and substantial access to international financial markets, and (iii) does not face serious short-term vulnerabilities.

According to the Central Bank, the Executive Board of the IMF has taken into account the following specific factors in considering of Sri Lanka's graduation.

i.The strong economic performance in recent years that has substantially lifted Sri Lanka's per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to US dollars 2,014 by 2008, well above the prevailing IDA threshold, and its per capita Gross National Income (GNI) has not been on a declining trend for the last 5 years. The strong growth performance has signaled substantial resilience to shocks, including shocks to oil prices, and to the expiration of the Multi-Fibre Agreement.
ii.The availability of an IMF Stand-by Arrangement facility as approved in July 2009 to cushion the impact of the global crisis. Further, the economic developments under the program have been stronger than expected, with GDP growth expected to return to almost pre-crisis levels in 2010, while exports have been showing signs of recovery.
iii.The country's public external debt being projected to decline gradually over the medium term. Although debt dynamics remain sensitive to currency depreciation and export shocks, the timely implementation of fiscal consolidation, as envisaged in the Stand-by Arrangement programme, will be crucial to ensure that the public debt remains on a sustainable path.
iv.The country's ability to access international capital markets in the past years and its ability to meet the market access criterion. Oversubscription of the recently issued five-year sovereign bond reflected the progress made under the Fund-supported program, and signaled good prospects for continued access to international capital markets.

This has been distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka. More information is available at the United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

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