Sri Lanka gets World Bank, Australian aid for reforms
Mar 24, 2017 16:44 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has got support from the World Bank and Australia for a program to enhance the trade and competitiveness potential of its private sector through regulatory and institutional reforms.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MODSIT) and the World Bank launched the joint program of technical assistance and advisory services on Friday.
“The program aims to address the most significant obstacles to the creation of new private enterprises and the growth of existing ones; attraction of efficiency-seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country and the growth of higher added-value exports,” a World Bank statement said.
The Government of Australia has made available 6 million Australian dollars that will enable the provision of technical assistance by the World Bank to MODSIT and other public sector stakeholders.
This will be in areas including improvement of the investment climate; enhancement of the ability to attract FDI; elimination of policy and regulatory barriers to trade; development of export-oriented Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and high-growth start-ups; and sustainable and inclusive growth of the tourism sector, the statement said.
“In particular, through this program the most significant regulatory, procedural and institutional obstacles will be identified and the relevant authorities will receive assistance to implement necessary reforms.”
With Sri Lanka aspiring to become a higher middle income country, there is a strong commitment from the government “to facilitate the transformation of the economic model from inward oriented and government driven to an export-oriented and private sector led one,” Malik Samarawickrema, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, said.
Bryce Hutchesson, Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, said Australia has worked to support Sri Lanka’s economic development, from education to health to infrastructure, among many other areas.
“To help ensure the sustainability and equitable spread of this growth, we are shifting the focus of our development partnership to support Sri Lanka’s economic performance through this collaboration with the World Bank Group.”
(COLOMBO, March 24, 2017)