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European Investment Bank eyes more private investment in Sri Lanka

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – European Investment Bank, world’s largest international pubic bank expects to increase its loan projects enabling the private sector to expand their investment in Sri Lanka.

A high level delegation from the European Investment Bank led by its vice president Andrew MacDowell is already in the country to have discussions with political authorities including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and private investors with regard to proposed loan schemes.

The delegation met Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake at his ministry yesterday (28th March). Among the other stake holders the delegation expecting to meet are senior government ministers, business leaders, members of the diplomatic community and local and international financial institutions.

Addressing a media briefing held at the Ministry of Finance, EU Ambassador for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Tung Lai Margue stated that the EU has earmarked investment of 210 million Euros for Sri Lankan during the period starting from 2014. The projects are expected to be concluded in 2020. Ambassador Margue said the EU and EIB working on common objectives to support Sri Lanka to achieve its political, development and economic goals. He said EU and Sri Lankan can make grants towards such projects while EIB is going to grant investment loans at interesting rates to the private sector. The ambassador further said the goal of EU has prioritized its support towards projects which are focused on environmental protection and combating climate change.

Ambassador Margue said that EU has been working on restoring GSP+ for Sri Lanka and it is being processed on a positive note.

He said Sri Lankan got an opportunity to showcase its plans for the sustainable developed goals before the visiting delegation.

Addressing the media briefing, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that the decision by the EIB to assist development in Sri Lanka is a big victory for the country. He said that Sri Lanka can be optimistic about its future development goals as a global banking giant like EIB has shown interest in the island.

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