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Charting a path to prosperity: Sri Lanka’s journey from debt to growth

Time (GMT +01) 12:30 14:00
Hero image description: Sri Lanka flag waving on the wind in front of sun Image credit:NINA IMAGES / Shutterstock
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.


Join us for a timely and crucial discussion on Sri Lanka's economic future.

Sri Lanka is at a turning point. After suffering one of the most challenging economic crises in its history, the country has defied negative expectations and is showing signs of recovery. Join leading experts as they explore the country's transition from debt to transformative economic growth.

The year 2022 brought unprecedented challenges for Sri Lanka. The country defaulted on its foreign debt of over $50 billion, experienced negative GDP growth of -7.8%, and saw an estimated 5.8 million people fall into poverty (measured at US$3.65 a day). However, a new government formed in mid-2022 under President Ranil Wickremesinghe secured an IMF bailout of $3 billion and attracted Indian aid worth $4 billion. While the signs of recovery are encouraging – inflation is now in single digits and foreign reserves built up to over $3 billion – Sri Lanka is not out of the woods yet. Debt must be restructured, and past IMF programmes have emphasised austerity, providing limited support for economic transformation. With presidential elections looming in late 2024, there is uncertainty surrounding the direction of future economic policy. Amidst this backdrop, this event will delve into the key challenges and policies that will shape Sri Lanka's economic future.

This hybrid event promises to be a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of Sri Lanka's path to prosperity, offering valuable insights and strategies for policymakers, businesses, and the broader public.

For those attending in person, lunch will be provided from 12:00 pm.

Register now to secure your place.

More speakers to be announced soon.

Note: A recording will be made available on this page after the event.


  • Dirk Willem te Velde.jpg

    Professor Dirk Willem te Velde - Chair

    Principal Research Fellow and Director, International Economic Development Group, ODI

  • Sri Lankan High Commissioner Mr. Rohitha Bogollagama

    H.E. Mr Rohitha Bogollagama

    High Commissioner of Sri Lanka

  • Ganeshan Wignaraja.png

    Dr Ganeshan Wignaraja

    Visiting Senior Fellow, ODI

  • Indrajit Coomaraswamy Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

    Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy

    Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

  • Frederique Dahan

    Dr Frederique Dahan

    Director, Development and Public Finance programme

  • Photo of Dr Sharmini Cooray

    Dr Sharmini Cooray

    Former Director of the Institute for Capacity Development, IMF

  • PhyllisPapadavid-feature

    Phyllis Papadavid

    Senior Research Associate, ODI

  • Photo of Professor Shanta Devarajan

    Professor Shanta Devarajan

    Professor of the Practice of International Development at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

  • Suren Fernando CEO of MAS Holdings

    Suren Fernando

    CEO of MAS Holdings