ADB pledges support for Lankan private sector | Daily News

ADB pledges support for Lankan private sector

Finance Minister to address sessions on Saturday
Director General, PSOD, Michael Barrow and Director General Pacific Armela Locsin
Director General, PSOD, Michael Barrow and Director General Pacific Armela Locsin

Helping Sri Lanka’s private sector was a definite focus and target area of the Asian Development Bank, Michael Barrow, Director General, Private Sector Operations (PSOD) told the media yesterday, beginning the 52nd ADB Annual Meeting press briefing series held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort in Denarau Fiji.

Barrow said the ADB had just finished disbursing the $100 million financial intermediation loan initiated in 2016 and $25 million, the first tranche of the $75 million additional finance of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) financial intermediation loan project introduced to strengthen MSMEs in Sri Lanka in 2018.

He said ADB’s top in the agenda for Sri Lanka was micro finance and health sector development and would support the health company Diasys India’s expansion into Sri Lanka.

“We have a lot of capacity for Sri Lanka. We have not done much and would wish to do more to develop many sectors in Sri Lanka,” he said.

With regard to supporting the development of the expressway in Sri Lanka, Barrow said that if a proposal was submitted in a form of a PPP, the ADB would always be willing to assist Sri Lanka. He however said that no such proposal had been submitted so far.

The ADB annual meeting which is held for the very first time in the Asia Pacific region, happened at a vital time when ADB was scaling up its financial and technical support for the region, Armela Locsin, Director General Pacific (PARD) told the gathering.

Locsin said they would increase allocations from the Asian Development Fund from $6 million to $13 million in 2019 and 2020 and would also scale up co-financing in areas such as climate change. She said they had already secured $130 million of grand financing from the Green Pilot Fund for the purpose.

Meanwhile, delegates gathered in Nadi, Fiji, for the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors, which got underway yesterday.

The 2019 Annual Meeting marked the first instance where a Pacific developing member country hosted ADB’s largest annual gathering, providing ADB Governors an opportunity to discuss important and pressing development issues facing Asia and the Pacific.

The theme for this year’s event is “Prosperity Through Unity.”

Among the issues that would be discussed are sustainable tourism and its potential to boost national and regional development efforts, role of the private sector financing for disaster risk management and climate resilience and the importance of action to improve ocean health.

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