Development aid: Lanka, a priority country | Daily News

Development aid: Lanka, a priority country

– China Development Bank

Sri Lanka will always be given priority when providing development aid, China Development Bank (CDB) Chairman Hu Huaibang said when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the China World Hotel yesterday. Several senior officials of the bank, including Director General Zhang Linwu accompanied Huaibang.

Expressing gratitude to President Rajapaksa for Sri Lanka’s close cooperation with the bank, Huaibang said he is looking forward to further enhancing the relationship in the future.

He also mentioned that the bank is a partner in many of the agreements signed between Sri Lanka and China on Tuesday with the construction of the new Colombo-Jaffna Expressway being one of the major projects among them.

Established in 1994, the China Development Bank is China’s biggest financial institution that provides development loans to foreign countries. By the end of the first quarter of 2013, assets of the bank exceeded $1.5 trillion.

President Rajapaksa thanked the bank for assisting many infrastructure development projects in Sri Lanka, and expressed hope that it would continue to assist the country in future initiatives, including the completion of the Moragahakanda Reservoir Project, which was initiated with financial assistance from the bank.

Huaibang said the bank will give highest priority to Sri Lanka’s requests for development assistance.

Having ended the 30-year war from the country in 2009, the government is now emphasizing equal development throughout the country, President Rajapaksa said.

He told bank officials that while the average economic growth rate of the country is 7.5 to eight percent, the growth rate in the North is 22 percent.

He said it clearly demonstrates the priority the government has given to the restoration of infrastructure facilities destroyed by the terrorists. While inviting the CDB chairman to visit Sri Lanka, the President also agreed to a proposal by the bank to establish a separate institute to better manage development aid.

External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr P B Jayasundara and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China Ranjith Uyangoda joined the discussion.


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