November, 27, 2017
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) highlighted that a record sum of 8.9 billion US dollar financial assistance has so far been granted to Sri Lanka to improve its infrastructure during the past 50 years.
ADB, Vice President Wencai Zhang made these observations at a ceremony held in Colombo to coincide with the launching of the publication ‘Sri Lanka –ADB partnership :1966-2016’.
The sole objective of establishing the Manila based ADB in the Asian Region was to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.
Highlighting the continuous assistance given by ADB to Sri Lanka from the establishment of an ADB office in Colombo in 1966, Vice President Zhang said it was happy to see the ADBs long term partnership with the Sri Lankan Government for the past 50 years and the assistance will be given continuously until the country achieve its future development goals.
He said the book ‘Sri –Lanka-ADB partnership ‘gives a comprehensive details of the completed ADB projects in the country and how the organization contributed in strengthening Sri Lankan economy and also to improve infrastructure facilities during the past 50 years.
He said the ADB during this five decades funded for various projects including in agriculture, industry, health, infrastructure and education to a greater extent.“As one of the founding member countries , Sri Lanka played a pivotal role in ADB’ s establishment in 1966,” he said.
Recalling the history, Zhang said in 1988 ADB approved its first loan to modernize tea factories in Sri Lanka.
“As we look forward at implementing our new Country Partnership Strategy we trust that it will contribute to taking Sri Lanka on its journey toward becoming a high-income country.”
According ADB Colombo office, in addition to the tea factory modernization project over the last 50 years ADB helped to upgrade vital infrastructure in Sri Lanka including the country’s first Southern Expressway loan, Colombo Port expansion project, reconstruction projects, Greater Colombo Water and Wastewater Management Improvement Investment program, Education Sector Development program and irrigation projects.
Minister Wickramaratne highlighted the invaluable service rendered by ADB to improve the country’s economy during the last 50 years and highly valued the book Sri Lanka- ADB partnership 1966-2016 which gives a detailed description of major projects carried out in Sri Lanka with the assistance of ADB.