Local Skills

Aug 30, 2010 (LBO) – Hatton National Bank, a big private listed commercial bank, plans to hire more executives from Sri Lanka’s north-east former war zone as it moves to increase lending in agriculture, an official said. Rajendra Theagarajah, chief executive of the private listed Hatton National Bank, said the new hiring scheme is based on the need for staff with more local knowledge to support lending in the region.

The island’s 30-year ethnic conflict ended in May 2009, resulting in a rapid economic recovery, especially in the north and east where the war was largely fought.

Theagarajah said HNB was focusing on lending to the rural sector and to small businesses as well as micro-finance.

“Banks do not understand micro finance and they have very little skills available to understand agriculture.”

HNB, he said, recently began a programme with the Hardy Institute in eastern Amparai, to recruit most of its executives in the north and east.

This was to support HNB’s lending in agriculture which, along with fisheries, is reviving in the region with the end of the war.

The Hardy Advanced Technological Institute at Ampara provides training for local and foreign students in agriculture, soil