Bangladesh will not face a situation like Sri Lanka, PM Hasina says

New Delhi (Reuters) – Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her country will not face a situation like the economic crisis in Sri Lanka although her government has sought loans from global agencies amid a fall in its reserves and surging import costs. 

In an interview with Reuters partner ANI, aired ahead of her visit to India on Monday, Hasina said that Bangladesh’s economy remained strong despite the impact of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Bangladesh’s $416 billion economy has been one of the fastest-growing in the world for years but dwindling foreign exchange reserves due to inflated import bills have prompted the government to seek loans from global agencies, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Bangladesh has always timely (in paying) our debt; our debt rate is very low in the context of Sri Lanka,” Hasina said. “Some people have raised this issue that Bangladesh will be Sri Lanka, but I can ensure that that will not happen.”

Sri Lanka reached a preliminary agreement with the IMF on Thursday for a loan of about $2.9 billion, after the country plunged into a crisis due to economic mismanagement and the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out its key tourism industry.

During her four-day visit to India, Hasina will meet her Indian counterpart and other leaders.