Is Sri Lanka Really A Victim Of China’s ‘Debt Trap’?
The economic reality is that Sri Lanka leased out Hambantota port to China largely due to a persistent balance of payment (BOP) crisis resulting from the reduction of trade over the years even while external debt servicing costs have been soaring. Sri Lank faced a severe shortage of foreign reserves in light of the upcoming debt servicing payments, due to the maturity of international sovereign bonds. Therefore, the country had to look for various avenues to obtain foreign currency inflows. Leasing out Hambantota port was one of the ways to increase the country’s foreign reserves.