Rachel F Robbins, Vice President and General Counsel for IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, expressed confidence in Sri Lanka’s sustained growth and IFC’s commitment to encouraging public and private sector development in the country. Robbins oversees the provision of legal services at IFC.
Based in Washington D.C., Robbins’ first official visit to Sri Lanka includes field tours to projects supported by IFC to promote the strategic agenda of promoting inclusive growth, developing infrastructure and addressing impacts of climate change.
While in Sri Lanka, Robbins met with the Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation Sarath Amunugama and Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to discuss IFC’s ability to do more through investment and advisory interventions to facilitate inclusive growth in post-conflict Sri Lanka.
“IFC is committed to supporting Sri Lanka’s initiatives to promote inclusive growth. We believe that the benefits of economic activities and opportunities should reach local industries and underserved communities who need them most,” said Robbins following her meetings.
Robbins met with small business owners and industry representatives during her field visit to Hikkaduwa and Galle. IFC has been advising local tourist operators and other entrepreneurs to improve quality of standards and offer better services to their customers.
“It’s impressive to see the scale at which IFC projects have impacted many entrepreneurs in southern Sri Lanka. With easier access to finance, information, and relevant training to improve quality and standards, small and medium entrepreneurs are able to enhance their income levels and become sustainable,” said Robbins.
Robbins’ visit reaffirms IFC’s continuing interest in Sri Lanka’s resilient growth. Since 1998, IFC has been offering its services to Sri Lanka, both as a financier to develop and implement private sector projects and as an advisor to strengthen small and medium enterprises.
Sri Lanka is a focus country for IFC’s program in South Asia. IFC’s $116 million portfolio covers projects across a range of sectors including infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, banking, and health care, in addition to advisory support to small and medium enterprises. Through its Advisory Services, IFC promotes sustainable growth among small and medium enterprises by facilitating access to finance and offering capacity-building and training opportunities.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives—by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilising capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010.