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IMF: Long overdue reforms? Sri Lanka as a case study
October 27 /11:30 AM - 12:30 PM BSTFree
Almost 80 years on from its date of establishment, the IMF stands at a crossroads. The questions to be asked must include: what reforms would be needed in ensuring that the IMF remains fit for purpose and a relevant player in the 21st century, and is the IMF ready to undertake such reforms? This panel, featuring veteran, highly renowned academics, bureaucrats, and experts, draws upon Sri Lanka as a particular case in point for the examination of these questions.
In 1948, Sri Lanka was one of the best economies in Asia. It was also the first country to open up access to its domestic market and economy in South Asia, long before India or Vietnam. Today, Sri Lanka is a bankrupt nation. It declared bankruptcy for the first time in April 2022. The country reserves almost hit zero last year, with debt standing at 128% to its GDP. Currently, Sri Lanka is on its 17th IMF program. The IMF is faced with the issue of implementing tough reforms and concluding the external debt restructuring process for the country. With elections due next year, it is tempting for Sri Lankan politicians to adopt populist policies instead. Can the IMF place Sri Lanka on the right path?
Panelists (see their bios through links):
Dr Brian Wong (moderator): Assistant Professor in Philosophy, HKU; Oxford Global Society Fellow
Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Dr. Sharmini Coorey Former IMF Director & Sri Lankan Presidential Advisory Group Member
Dr. Reza Baqir Former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and Senior Fellow at Harvard
Mr. Talal Rafi Economist & IMF Columnist, Expert Member of the World Economic Forum, OXGS Fellow