World Bank Group President David Malpass met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday (08) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on the sidelines of the COP 27 climate change conference.

President Malpass and President Wickremesinghe discussed the challenging macroeconomic and social situation in Sri Lanka and the urgent need to stabilize the economy. President Malpass emphasized the importance of timely and effective resolution of the ongoing debt crisis and encouraged President Wickremesinghe to continue engaging with Sri Lanka’s official bilateral and private sector creditors to promptly agree on debt restructuring.

President Malpass and President Wickremesinghe discussed ways to improve the efficiency of public expenditures and necessary reforms to the state-owned enterprises, particularly given the large size of the public sector in Sri Lanka.
President Malpass affirmed the World Bank Group’s (WBG) support to the Sri Lankan people in rebuilding their economy and creating a foundation for sustainable private sector-led growth through IDA concessional financing, technical assistance, and policy advice.

President Malpass and President Wickremesinghe discussed opportunities for improving agriculture production and value chains, including through effective programs supporting fertilizer use, as well as Sri Lanka’s large potential in the service sector, including tourism and education.

President Malpass and President Wickremesinghe also spoke about climate change and the financing needs of developing countries to pursue impactful adaptation and mitigation investment.