Sri Lanka reconstruction after war could stimulate economy: ADB

Mar 31, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economic growth will slow down this year but could revive the next helped by reconstruction activity expected with the end of the war against Tamil Tigers, the Asian Development Bank said. The ADB report said the island economy remained resilient last year, bolstered by strong growth in the agriculture sector. The bank’s Asian Development Outlook 2009 report said the island’s economic growth is likely to fall to 4.5 percent in 2009 from six percent in 2008.

The global recession was having an effect on the economy, with a sharp fall in exports affecting domestic industries and employment.

But growth could rebound to six percent in 2010 with the expected global recovery and end to the ethnic war.

“While the economy has managed to do relatively well under difficult circumstances, the country needs to now meet the challenges of post-war development with the expected opening up of the north,” ADB country director Richard Vokes said.

Government forces have cornered the Tamil Tiger rebels in a small strip of land on the northeast coast after a lengthy military campaign and say they could be finished off soon if not for civilians held hostage by the group.

The government h