Jul 11, 2016 (LBO) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says that Sri Lanka can aim for higher growth by boosting its private investments, connectivity and capital market reforms.
“The government’s public finance management reform initiative will help maintain macroeconomic stability, which is important to the country,” Wencai Zhang, vice president, Asian Development Bank (ADB), who was on a three-day visit to the island, said.
“The country can achieve a higher growth trajectory by boosting private investments, enhancing connectivity, and deepening structure reforms, including capital market reforms.”
Sri Widowati, country director of ADB Sri Lanka also reiterated that capital market development was one of the areas where the government has asked the ADB for assistance.
“But the program is still being fine tuned,” she said.
“It will include support for regulatory oversight and electronic systems, capital market instruments and institutions and the debt market.”
She also confirmed that the Government has requested assistance to establish an International Finance Center in Colombo.
“However the talks have not commenced on this, yet.”
ADB’s next country program will be in effect from 2017-2021. In 2015 the bank provided 600 million US dollarsin funding and in it is expected to increase to 700 million by the end of 2016.
Zhang also appreciated the close partnership between ADB and the Government of Sri Lanka that has grown deeper over the past five decades.
Since Sri Lanka was a founding member of ADB in 1966, ADB’s partnership with the country will mark 50 years this December.
Over the period, ADB has funded projects in such sectors as agriculture, infrastructure, finance, and education, in line with the respective government’s development policies.
During his stay Zhang visited the flood damaged AndarawewaBalaluwewa Road in the Anuradhapura district; and ADB-financed projects, including the Polonnaruwa Grid Substation, the Water Treatment Plant in Kaduruwela, the irrigation head works at Moragahakanda, and the Yudaganawa Community Managed Rural Water Supply Scheme in Medirigiriya.
He also interacted with chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients at the Yudaganawa Nelum Samadhi community center and was briefed by a doctor on the high incidence of CKD in the Polonnaruwa district, where ADB will provide additional financing for safe drinking water.