Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake addresses the ADB Annual Meeting business session
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday confirmed that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was upbeat about Sri Lanka’s economic reforms and assured further support, especially in fast-tracking disbursements to expedite development.
“The ADB President was quite impressed with the progress we have made over the past two years. He extended their commitment and support further. The most important factor is that the disbursement has been made quicker, decision-making more effective and a sense of transparency has increased,” Karunanayake told the Daily FT after meeting the ADB President in Yokohama on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting.
Having said that, the Minister admitted that there were a few other areas that needed further improvement such as the Mahaweli Project.
“There was a delay in making some decisions over Mahaweli Section B, which is a water project. We will address this soon,” Karunanayake added.
He said that ADB also requested to help Sri Lanka as a knowledge bank.
“We requested them to communicate their know-how so that we don’t want to reinvent the wheel all over,” Finance Minister added.
In addition, on behalf of all member countries, the Minister has proposed that wealthy countries share their wealth with needy countries like Sri Lanka which could borrow it at a lower cost.
The Minister also said the ADB President has expressed his interest in visiting Sri Lanka in August or September this year.