Sri Lanka gets foreign loans for tourism, roads

Mar 26, 2010 (LBO) – The World Bank has approved a loan of 18 million US dollars to Sri Lanka to develop sustainable tourism, international trade minister Gamini Peiris said. “These funds are to be used for infrastructure development,” Peiris said.

“This is a matter of high priority for Sri Lanka now,” he told a news conference, referring to the revival in tourism following the end of the 30-year ethnic war in May 2009.

The World Bank loan is interest free and repayable in 20 years with a 10-year grace period.

Peiris also said Korea’s Export-Import Bank was giving another loan of 40 million dollars to upgrade a road connecting the hill-country towns of Hatton and Nuwara Eliya.

The bank is charging only a 0.1 percent interest a year and the loan is repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period.

“With the end of terrorism, large funds are coming from abroad,” Peiris said. “It shows the confidence investors have in us.”

In 2009 China gave 294 million dollars, Japan 311 million dollars, the Asian Development Bank 283 million dollars and the World Bank 202 million dollars, he said.