Mar 23, 2016 (LBO) — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program will invest 15 million dollars in Sri Lankan retail chain Richard Pieris Distributors Limited to help the company expand its retail network, support job creation, and develop local supply chains, a statement said.
Funding will also be used to install solar panels on company store rooftops.
The financing consists of a 7.5 million dollar loan from IFC and 7.5 million dollars from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program which promotes private sector financing for clean energy projects.
“IFC’s support comes at an important time as we step up our operations and widen our network of branches across the island,” said Sena Yaddehige, group chairman of Richard Pieris & Co. PLC.
“Through this planned expansion, we will contribute towards improving food safety and consumer access to better quality food products at affordable prices.”
The investment into Richard Pieris Distributors will help create over 800 jobs directly and an even larger number of jobs indirectly by 2020, an IFC statement said. It will also help the company adopt green building measures and promote climate-smart technologies.
The Government of Canada’s contribution to the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program has helped make this financing package viable.
To date, Canada has provided close to 271 million Canadian dollars to the program, to climate change investments that are generating significant environmental and economic benefits in developing countries.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in renewable energy and green jobs in developing countries. Through its partnership with IFC, Canada is working to foster sustainable economic growth and contribute to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, setting the stage for a cleaner, more prosperous global future,” said the Honorable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Sri Lanka’s modern trade sector currently constitutes less than 20 percent of total trade in the country, which is significantly lower than other emerging markets. The country’s retail sector has significant potential to contribute towards economic growth in an environment of steady economic development.
“As the sector grows, companies like Richard Pieris Distributors are in a prime position to expand their networks, boost employment opportunities through small businesses in their supply chains, and create value for consumers,” said Amena Arif, IFC’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Sri Lanka is a priority country for IFC’s work in South Asia, the statement said.
IFC’s committed portfolio in Sri Lanka covers projects across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, finance, and healthcare. IFC also provides advisory services to promote sustainable growth among small and medium enterprises by facilitating access to finance, and by offering capacity-building and training opportunities.
Richard Pieris & Co. PLC is a diversified business conglomerate, and its flagship brand “Arpico” offers diverse products across sectors such as manufacturing, plantations, financial services, exports, FMCG, construction, logistics, educational services & retail.
The retail sector led by its flagship brand “Arpico Supercenters” operates one of the largest modern trade chains in the country. With a workforce of over 30,000, Richard Pieris & Company PLC is one of the largest employment providers in the private sector, the statement said.