Asian Development Bank signs loan agreements totaling US$ 455 million with Sri Lankan government
The government of Sri Lanka and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed three loan agreements totaling US$ 455 million for projects in higher education and transport as well as a technical assistance loan in the urban sector.
The signing of the agreements coincided with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s first visit to the ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines. Sirisena has also met with ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
The President is currently on a five-day State visit.
During their meeting, Sirisena and Nakao have reportedly discussed development challenges faced by Sri Lanka and ADB’s role in helping address them.
The first of the three loans were signed for a US$ 145 million project to support the development of science and technology faculties in four universities to nurture a new breed of technology-oriented graduates; US$$ 300 million to finance construction of about 5.3 km of an elevated toll highway to link Colombo’s international port with the country’s expressway network and US$ 10 million technical assistance loan to finance the establishment of a facility that will help improve the design and implementation of urban projects in Sri Lanka.
ADB’s total commitment to Sri Lanka this year including these three loans, will amount to US$ 815 million.
ADB will continue to maintain a strong pipeline of projects totaling about US$ 800 million a year in the current Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), 2018–2022, compared with US$ 500 million a year in the previous CPS period.
Nakao has commended the President on Sri Lanka’s achievements in reducing poverty to low single digits and improving human development. Building on its achievements so far, Sri Lanka needs to seek higher growth to achieve the goal of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2025.
The ADB Chief has acknowledged the Sri Lankan government’s fiscal consolidation efforts, supported by an International Monetary Fund programme that resulted in a primary surplus in 2017 for the first time in 63 years.
“The government has taken encouraging steps to strengthen the country’s public finances and it is essential to continue those measures to reduce debt,” Nakao has said.
The signing of three loan agreements between the Sri Lankan government and the ADB indicates the opening up of business/investment opportunities in several key sectors in Sri Lanka. The ADB’s total commitment to Sri Lanka for this year amounts to US$ 815 million. This in turn would result in funding for key projects in the Sri Lankan government’s development agenda. Therefore, with the funding availability, foreign companies could explore opportunities take part in Sri Lanka’s development projects. Also, the ADB support along with other international agencies would result in Sri Lanka’s economy recording an overall growth. Therefore, foreign businesses could confidently look at investing in the Sri Lankan economy.
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