Sri Lanka southern businesses get IFC help

Dec 24, 2008 (LBO) – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, said it is helping streamline business licensing in Sri Lankan’s southern Matara district. The Matara Municipal Council and the IFC are making it easier for small businessmen to get licenses to start businesses, an IFC statement said.

It said the project could “help promote entrepreneurship and economic growth in an area that is home to one-fifth of the country’s population.”

The project is part of the South Asia Enterprise Development Facility of the IFC.

“IFC will help us eliminate activities of little value, while adding value by making improvements in cost, time, and quality of services,” said C Withanachchi, Municipal Commissioner for the Matara Municipal Council.

“An increase in business licensing and participation in the formal economy may result in an increase in the tax base, leading to more revenues for the municipality.”

IFC said it has a strong track record in working with governments and municipalities to simplify business regulations globally as well as in Sri Lanka.

IFC previously worked with the Colombo Municipal Council to streamline its busin