ADB to introduce new partnership strategy with Sri Lanka

Feb 06, 2017 (LBO) – Asian Development Bank is working on a new country partnership strategy with Sri Lanka’s government to address dynamic challenges with sustainable, inclusive and environmentally friendly solutions, an official said.

During an event to mark 50 years of Sri Lanka’s partnership with ADB, director general of South Asia Regional Department of ADB, Hun Kim said in the past their assistance was more to fill gaps in physical capacities to meet the basic needs of people.

“But in the coming years, ADB will be a forward looking strategic partner with the government to remove impediments to private investments and creates new engines of economic growth and enhance the productivity of economic systems,” he said.

“We are currently working on a new country partnership strategy with the government to address these dynamic challenges with sustainable, inclusive and environmentally friendly solutions.”

Sri Lanka is one of the founding member countries of Asian Development Bank which was established in 1966 and Sri Lanka Resident Mission was established in 1997.

ADB has 67 member countries of which 48 are from the region.

Hun Kim said that they have recognized that much of the future jobs and prosperity depend on private investments, FDI and exports.

“Without increasing lending capacities, we want to see the solutions expand in Sri Lanka whether it is for development finance, investment strategy or promotion of technology transfer,” he said.

“With the limited size in the domestic market and demand, strategic shift must be made to diversify production base in the country and most importantly increase productivity across sectors for expansion of exports and participation of global value chains and creation of higher value jobs.”

The first assistance from the ADB was a loan to the country in 1968 to help modernize tea factories. ADB then progressed to fund projects in a variety of sectors according to the needs of the country and in keeping with the development policies of the respective governments of the day.

Since then the ADB has cumulatively lent 8.2 billion US dollars and provided more than 363 million dollars in grant assistance and more than 138 million dollars in technical assistance to the island nation.