Sri Lanka policy change will accelerate poverty reduction: World Bank


Sept 19, 2015 (LBO) – Policy change is critical to accelerating poverty reduction and boosting prosperity in Sri Lanka, the World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region, Annette Dixon, said during her recent meetings with the island’s leadership.

She renewed the World Bank’s commitment to partner with the new government in implementing policy reforms during meetings with the president, prime minister and finance minister.

“This is a crucial moment in Sri Lanka’s history to make a transformational change by fostering more inclusive, private sector-led growth and re-balancing public and private interests” said Dixon.

“Such a vision will need to be accompanied by transformational government-led reforms and pro-active macro-economic management.  I was pleased to learn of the Government’s early intentions and to explore ways to calibrate our support.”

The World Bank’s commitments in Sri Lanka stand at 1.5 billion dollars with thirteen current projects throughout the country.

The private sector development arm, IFC, which focuses on access to finance, infrastructure, tourism, and agribusiness and prioritizing balanced regional growth, has an investment portfolio of 420 million dollars, including 140 million dollars mobilized from partner institutions.

President Maithripala Sirisena had outlined his priorities for development and discussed his vision for preserving the environment. The Prime Minister underscored his vision for a more competitive Sri Lanka in which human capital development will play a significant role.

The World Bank Group and the government will be jointly defining the medium term strategy for future engagement.