Sarath Amunugama, Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation met Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank today in Washington DC, on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings.
Dr. Amunugma conveyed his appreciation to the World Bank for supporting the country’s development programme. He and the delegation discussed developments, outlook and World Bank’s assistance to Sri Lanka.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala reiterated the World Bank’s commitment to Sri Lanka, especially in supporting programmes designed to encourage inclusive growth throughout the country. She also noted the World Bank’s willingness to increase support to complement the ambitious development aspirations of doubling per capita income and growth over 8%, which will be aided by increasing private investment from both foreign and domestic sources as envisioned in the government’s vision for future.
Madam Okonjo-Iweala reaffirmed the World Bank’s strong and expanding support to Sri Lanka as it moves towards a middle-income country. The Managing Director recognised Sri Lanka’s emergence as a growing economy, and its eligibility for financing from the IBRD, the World Bank’s lending arm for middle-income countries in addition to the current assistance from the IDA- the concessional finance arm of the World Bank. She indicated that the Bank is doubling the funds available to Sri Lanka next year.
While recognising and highly appreciating the recent developments that have taken place in Sri Lanka, she indicated that the World Bank expects Sri Lanka as a facilitator in promoting South- South cooperation and knowledge sharing among the other countries in the region. This initiative is aimed at sharing knowledge and experience of success stories in economic and social fronts among the countries in the region, in particular, Sri Lanka’s success in achieving MDG goals at a faster rate.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala also emphasized the importance of investment and innovation towards development and exchanged ideas with others in South Asia. “The World Bank can play complementary role in facilitating this process by sharing not only our own knowledge, but also the expertise of other emerging economies through South-South exchanges and we would like to get Sri Lanka as a facilitator in this process,” she said.
The meeting was attended by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, K.G.D.D. Dheerasinghe, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and Dr P.N. Weerasinghe, Alternate Executive Director to the IMF. Isabel Guererro, Vice President of the World Bank and Kaldany, Vice –President of International Finance Commission and D. Gaye, Country Director of the World Bank for Sri Lanka.