Sri Lanka to witness increase in International Finance Corporation investments in the country
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is reportedly looking at increasing its investments in Sri Lanka, according to IFC Regional Vice President – Asia and the Pacific Alfonso Garcia Mora.
Mora, during his meetings, has highlighted IFC’s investment of US$ 450 million during the first 18 months of the pandemic in Sri Lanka as a sign of IFC’s steadfast commitment to the country and with a focus on supporting private sector job creation, paving the way for robust investments to help spur the country’s recovery and future growth.
“In my meeting with the President, we discussed the need to have a sound macro fiscal stability to attract foreign capital and provide medium and long-term certainty,” Mora has stated, adding, “The talks also focused on ways to maximise the potential of the country’s private sector to help address Sri Lanka’s challenges and achieve the inclusive growth the country needs.”
Mora’s comments came at the end of a three-day visit to Sri Lanka recently, which included a meeting with Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa, government officials, including Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, private sector representatives, entrepreneurs, and development partners.
Mora was accompanied by IFC Vice President – Risk Mohamed Gouled, Regional Director – South Asia Hector Gomez Ang, and new Country Manager – Sri Lanka and the Maldives Lisa Kaestner, as well as World Bank Country Director – Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Nepal Faris Hadad-Zervos.
“We are committed to Sri Lanka,” Mora has noted. “This is demonstrated by our investment commitments in the past six months which have targeted export-oriented industries. Since the onset of the pandemic, IFC has also played a strong counter cyclical role in its financing and will continue to build on that programme going forward.”
“We are working with the private sector in the country to create a robust investment pipeline and this can be accelerated with additional reforms in the infrastructure sector, allowing the private sector to play a bigger role.
“IFC intends to invest a further $ 150 million during the current fiscal year ending in June 2022. Over the next five years, IFC is looking at an investment pipeline of more than US$ 800 million, specifically in supporting growth-enabling sustainable infrastructure,” Mora has added.
Sri Lanka’s economic expansion as well as its resilience to external and internal challenges through the years have helped the country’s economy return to normalcy after facing the pandemic challenges. In fact several key economic sectors in the country have recorded a growth momentum despite the pandemic. The ongoing development programme and the positioning of the country as a growing business destination in the South Asian region have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s business potential. The country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as concessions enjoyed by the country have also added to Sri Lanka’s attraction as a growing business destination. All these have resulted in multilateral financial institutions to support Sri Lanka through investments. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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