September 14, 2016 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
Sri Lanka participates in China-ASEAN exposition
Sri Lanka has become the first South Asian country to participate as a ‘Special Guest Country’ in the 13th China-ASEAN Expo, held in Nanning, China from 11-14 September.
A delegation headed by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, represented Sri Lanka at the event. Minister Bathiudeen invited investors from the China-ASEAN region to explore opportunities in Sri Lanka.
International Monetary Fund delegation meets with Finance Minister
A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has met with the Minister of Finance, Ravi Karunanayake. The delegation is in Sri Lanka to review the government’s fiscal consolidation plan, prior to the IMF’s disbursment of the second tranche of an IMF loan worth USD 1.5 billion.
Minister Karunanayake discussed the government’s fiscal consolidation targets, stating ‘we had a budget deficit of 6.7% of the GDP last year and this year’s target will be 5.4%. It will be further reduced to 4.7% in 2017’.
Foreign Minister receives award during visit to Slovenia
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, has received an award from the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Slovenia, in recognition of his contribution to post-war reconciliation.
The award was presented by the Vice President of the IFIMES Advisory Board, Ernest Petric, at the IFIMES, where Minister Samaraweera delivered a keynote speech titled ‘Democracy, Reconciliation and Development – vision for a new Sri Lanka’.
US to give largest ever military aid package to Israel
The US will sign an MOU with Israel on 21 September, to provide USD 38 billion in military aid to Israel over the next decade. The aid is expected to be disbursed in annual installments of USD 3.8 billion.
The MOU requires Israel to spend all funds received on American military industries. The MOU also includes provisions for funding missile defence programmes, which were previously funded separately.
Edgar Lungu sworn in as President of Zambia
The President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, has been sworn into office on 14 September. President Lungu’s inauguration follows the Supreme Court’s rejection of a petition against it, submitted by his opponent, Hakainde Hichilema.
President Lungu was declared the winner of the election in Zambia last month, claiming 50.35% of the vote, while Mr. Hichilema claimed 47.67% of the vote. Mr.Hichilema stated that the election result consisted of many ‘irregularities’.
Philippines to follow policies independent of the US
The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has stated that the country would pursue a foreign policy independent of US interests. President Duterte requested American special forces to leave the southern region of Mindanao, and blamed the conflict in that region on their presence.
President Duterte also indicated that the Philippines would ease dependence on US arms, by procuring weapons from Russia and China as well.