Wed, 26 Jun 2019

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (30 August 2018)- Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Mr. Wencai Zhang today in meetings with Sri Lanka's leadership reaffirmed ADB's strong commitment to support the country's continued development drive, in line with ADB's new long-term corporate blueprint, Strategy 2030.

On the concluding day of his three-day visit, Mr. Zhang met with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Secretary to the Treasury Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Secretary to the President Mr. Udaya Seneviratne, Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs and ADB Alternate Governor for Sri Lanka Mr. K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, and Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy.

Strategy 2030, which was approved by ADB's Board of Directors in July, goes beyond ending absolute poverty to now seek to promote prosperity, inclusiveness, resilience, and sustainability in the Asia and Pacific region while sustaining efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

ADB's aspirations are aligned with major global commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Financing for Development agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

"Strategy 2030 recognizes that the ambitious global development agenda must be tailored to specific local circumstances," Mr. Zhang said. "ADB will strengthen its country-focused approach to Sri Lanka, promote the use of innovative technologies, and deliver integrated interventions that combine expertise across a range of sectors and themes and through a mix of public and private sector operations."

As at 31 July 2018, ADB's active project portfolio in Sri Lanka stands at 35 projects with a net loan amount of $3.9 billion. ADB expects to sign a total of $1 billion in financing for 9 projects in 2018. Over the next 3 years, commitments will total $3 billion addressing ports, railways, roads, secondary and higher education, electricity transmission and distribution, fisheries, irrigation, wastewater management, drinking water, sanitation, and support for small and medium enterprises.

During VP Zhang's 3 day stay in Sri Lanka, he visited ADB funded projects, including a Technical College in Mirijjawila, Southern Province, which offers vocational training courses in various skills including information communication technology, welding, carpentry, automobile mechanics, and landscaping. VP Zhang interacted with students who shared their career aspirations and the opportunities offered by the Technical College.

He also visited the Handapanagala irrigation watershed identified under a proposed Integrated Water Productivity Improvement Project in Monaragala district that would assure productive use of irrigation water for farmers. In the village of Handapanagala, Mr. Zhang spoke to residents who had benefited from an ADB energy project that helped villagers meet the initial investment cost of electricity connections to their homes.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members-48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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