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IFC invests USD 27Mn in Sri Lanka’s Melwa Hotels and Resorts

May 03, 2018 (LBO) - The International Finance Corporation,  a member of the World Bank Group,is investing US 27 million dollars in Melwa Hotels and Resorts Private Limited towards the development of 3 hotels across Sri Lanka. The investment will increase Sri Lanka’s capacity in the tourism sector, create jobs, and generate more foreign exchange, the IFC said in a statement. The hotels will be operated by Hilton Hotels. It will also help Melwa Hotels develop three new hotels outside of Colombo, in Yala, Kosgoda, and Negombo. A subsidiary of Melwire Rolling Private Limited, the company is a new entrant to Sri Lanka’s tourism sector. “In addition to the funding, Melwa will also benefit from IFC’s expertise and advice as we diversify in to tourism,” said P. P Muruganandhan, ManagingDirector of Melwa. “The access to global experts and sectoral knowledge and best practices will be keyto ensure that we build hotels that are profitable, sustainable and contribute to the local economies where they are located.” The tourism industry is a key pillar of growth for Sri Lanka’s economy. However, much of the country’s tourism potential remains under-developed, while other parts are growing in an unsustainable way. This project fits well with the Government of Sri Lanka’s goal to grow the tourism industry while minimizing potential negative environmental and social impacts. “Investments in tourism lead to job creation, generation of revenues and foreign exchange and strengthens local suppliers,” said Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “IFC will also provide advice to Melwa Hotels on how to manage environmental and biodiversity matters to minimize their environmental footprint.” The tourism industry is a major contributor to employment, foreign exchange earnings, and tax revenues for emerging economies. Hotels and tourism generate economic activity for small- and medium-sized businesses which supply goods and services both during construction and operations.  IFC invests in hotels and tourism because of its strong development impact along the value chain, for employees, and the economy.  
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