SINGAPORE: Sri Lanka will wrap up talks with international bondholders on its restructuring process in a few weeks, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said on Tuesday, a major step for the island nation to emerge from its worst financial crisis in decades.

"Hopefully within a couple of weeks," Sabry said in an interview at the Reuters NEXT conference in Singapore, when asked when the nation's bond restructuring efforts with creditors will be finished.

"Towards the end of this month, officially, we are done and dusted with the restructuring process, then of course, in line with that, we need to start payment," he said.

Sri Lanka secured a provisional agreement with some of its bondholders to move forward on restructuring about $12.5 billion of international bonds last week but now needs the rest of the private creditors and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to also agree.

The country, which has $37 billion in external debt, clinched an agreement with its official creditors including Japan, China and India in late June to restructure $10 billion in debt.

In total, the debt rework is estimated to save Sri Lanka $8 billion in write-offs and delay capital repayments by at least four years.

To view the live broadcast of the World Stage go to the Reuters NEXT news page: (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee; Editing by Tom Hogue and Raju Gopalakrishnan)