President signs three loan agreements totaling USD 455 mn USD with ADB
January 17, 2019 04:38 pm
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena signed on Thursday three loan agreements totalling 455 million U.S. dollars with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund projects in higher education and transport as well as a technical assistance loan in the urban sector.
Sirisena signed the loan agreements during his first visit to the ADB headquarters while conducting a state visit to the Philippines.
The three loans include 145 million U.S. dollars for a project to support the development of science and technology faculties in four universities to nurture a new breed of technology-oriented graduates, 300 million U.S. dollars to finance construction of about 5.3 km of an elevated toll highway to link Colombo’s international port with the country’s expressway network, and a 10 million U.S. dollars technical assistance loan to finance the establishment of a facility that will help improve the design and implementation of urban projects in Sri Lanka.
This year, the Manila-based bank said ADB’s total commitment to Sri Lanka, including these three loans, will amount to 815 million U.S. dollars.
“Sri Lanka highly values the assistance provided by ADB to various development plans of our country,” Sirisena said, adding that “The economic cooperation extended by ADB is of extreme benefit to the countries grappling with development issues.”
ADB’s CPS for Sri Lanka focuses on building high-quality infrastructure in the transport, energy, and urban sectors by expanding investments in new areas such as railways, wind and solar power generation, and economic corridors.
Sri Lanka was a founding member of ADB in 1966.
Since a first loan to the country in 1968 to help modernize tea factories, ADB has supported Sri Lanka’s economic transformation with assistance totalling 9.8 billion U.S. dollars, including through concessional loans and technical assistance.
Sirisena arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday for a five-day state visit. He met with President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday and they discussed issues “on areas of mutual interest, including political, economic, cultural and people-to-people engagement.”
Aside from visiting ADB, Sirisena will also visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos in Laguna province, south of Manila.