Thursday, 18 April 2019 05:52

ADB plans to commit $800 m annually in loans to SL to boost economic growth

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a leading multilateral development partner of Sri Lanka, plans to commit an average of $800 million annually in sovereign loans to the island nation during 2018-2022 to boost economic growth.

ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy 2018 - 2022 for Sri Lanka, focuses on building high-quality infrastructure in the transport, energy, and urban sectors, the lender said in a member fact sheet.

The bank’s operations also contribute to the Sri Lankan government’s key development goals of economic diversification, job creation, income enhancement, and rural economic development.

Over the past decade, Sri Lanka has made rapid strides toward its development goals, halving its poverty rate to low single digits and improving human development, according to the ADB. While the country now stands close to reaching upper-middle income status, it needs to foster more inclusive and sustainable momentum for economic growth, the Bank observed.

In 2018, Sri Lanka’s economic growth remained subdued as it faced challenges stemming from domestic and external factors.

Priority investments for economic diversification and productivity enhancement will focus on building infrastructure (transport, energy, and urban), developing an economic corridor, and enhancing human capital. Priority investments to promote inclusiveness will include strengthening agriculture infrastructure and commercialisation, improving rural connectivity, improving public service delivery, and expanding access to finance for MSMEs.

(FT)

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