The World Bank and Sri Lanka today identified several new areas of development cooperation in addition to World Bank funded existing projects. They are renewable energy, garbage disposal, watershed management, plantation for export, easing traffic congestion and pedestrian and road safety.
This understanding was reached during the discussion that followed when Hartwig Schafer, Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon (31). Mr. Schafer said that concessional funding could be made available for projects to be implemented in these areas.
President Rajapaksa recalling his association with some of the World Bank funded projects such as road development and city beautification completed during his tenure as the Defence Secretary welcomed further assistance from the Bank. Referring to development of the plantation sector President emphasized the need to focus on minor crops such as pepper and cinnamon. The World Bank Vice President responded “these crops offer enormous opportunity in terms of employment and export income generation”.
“At present there are 18 ongoing World Bank funded projects. Some of them are progressing well. Some are not. World Bank will go ahead with the Kandy Multi Model Terminal Project aimed at easing traffic congestion”, Mr. Schafer observed.
President Rajapaksa highlighting the importance of using modern technology in such activities expressed willingness to have further discussions to decide on specific projects.
Ms. Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, the Country Director of the World Bank and Dr. P. B. Jayasundara, Secretary to the President were also present.