Colombo Plan celebrates 59th anniversary
The Colombo Plan Secretariat will bring a group of 20 international
participants to Colombo for entrepreneurship development under its
program for private sector development.
Speaking at its 59th anniversary celebrations at JAIC Hilton, the
Colombo Plan Secretariat ,Secretary General Patricia Yoon Moi Chia said
that five places in this program will be given to Sri Lankans under
special provision .
She said that human resource development is its main focus and the
Colombo Plan has provided 16,082 scholarships for both long and
short-term training to 23 member countries since its restructuring in
1995. She assured the member Governments that the Colombo Plan will
continue to endeavour to reach new heights in the years to come. Moving
ahead, it has the advice of a group of eminent persons to guide the
Colombo Plan towards its strategic goals and Vision 2025, when it
completes 75 years.
Chia said that she took over as the 20th Head of the organization in
August 2007. That year 603 participants were trained. This figure has
almost tripled to 1,736 last year, which was a 20 percent increase
compared to 2008.This was done with the same operating budget of 2007,
with only a 15 percent increase.
Essentially, this increase goes to the hiring of professional staff
to drive three programs namely private sector development, drug advisory
program and the public administration and environment and the long-term
scholarships at Master degree level. Its other capacity-building
programs address the Millennium Development Goals on poverty, gender
development, sustainable environment and ways to build capacity of those
in the Government, semi-government and private sector to promote the
private sector development.
The Colombo Plan has currently 10 international officers from India,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. Three of these are
voluntarily seconded by the Governments of Indonesia and Malaysia.
Thirteen officers now support the programs, with 11 general and support
Chia said that the gearing up of the level of our activities was made
possible through the voluntary contributions of member countries and
international agencies such as OPEC fund. Last year US$10 million was
allocated and more than US$12 million is expected for the programs this
year with another US$2 million in terms of cost-sharing from member