Lanka gets USD 630m from ADB
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to provide USD 630 million to Sri
Lanka for the period from 2009 to 2011 with USD 210 million per year.
This will be mainly for commercial projects and supplemented by some
direct support to the private sector.
This was revealed by ADB Country Director Richard Vokes at the 18th
Business for Peace Forum held at JAIC Hilton Colombo yesterday. His
keynote address was on ADB, Sri Lanka Country Partnership Strategy.
Vokes said the partnership app-roach includes consultation with
Government of Sri Lanka based on government’s ten-year plan under
Mahinda Chintana. The world is in a volatile situation and the current
economic situation in the country is going to be much harder than six
months ago. However he said that everyone recognises Sri Lanka has done
well despite the 25 years of conflict. ADB has analysed Sri Lanka’s
situation under strength Weaknesses Opportunities and Threat (SWOT)
Elaborating on the strengths of the country he said Lanka is an
international hub for transshipment and it is in a very strategic
location on major shipping routes. “Having situated next to fast growing
India it also has a booming and modern services sector, a strong asset
base, and high labour standards.”
Meanwhile the weaknesses he pointed out included high fiscal deficit,
large infrastructure deficit, high regional inequality in growth of
gross domestic production, relatively weak structure of public finance
management, inefficient traditional agricultural systems, and
complicated government structure.
However there are opportunities, to improve expenditure management
and revenue generation, invest in infrastructure development such as
power and transport, to introduce more efficient use of resources to
promote better project implementation and to invest in alternate sources
of energy and other renewable.
According to Vokes some of the threats to the country included the
conflict, difficulties in developing consensus for political reforms due
to the complex political economy and vested intentions, pressure from
high and volatile commodity prices and inflation.