ECONOMYNEXT – Manila-based Asian Development Bank said it is giving a 165 million US dollar credit to Sri Lanka to support Coronavirus hit small businesses, tea smallholders and firms led by women.
The loan was signed by Sri Lanka’s Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle, and Sri Lanka Resident Mission
Country Director Chen Chen.
“The government highly appreciates ADB’s long-term commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s development,” Attygalle said in a statement.
“SMEs will be essential to recovery from COVID-19. The new loan from ADB will help the government’s efforts of supporting SMEs in and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The loan will finance a new SME credit line.
The new credit expands on a Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit Project, which ADB approved in 2016 to strengthen SMEs’ access to finance.
The credit comes as Sri Lanka plans to consolidate finance companies which lend to riskier SME clients with their parent banks, who are more risk averse.
The loans will be co-financed with a 1.25 million dollar grant from the the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), to promote capital investment by tea smallholders.
Another 1.75 million dollars in technical will also be granted by JFPR to build tea to build financial literacy, access to financial services and develop policies to promote value chain development for the Sri Lankan tea industry. (Colombo/Nov26/2020)