Considering the huge demand for low-cost financial resources for infrastructure development in Asia, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday urged the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to offer low-cost guarantees to help developing member countries to mobilise accumulated financial resources from wealthy nations.
Speaking at a business session with governors at the 50th ADB Annual Meeting in Yokohama, Japan, he pointed out that untapped financial resources in the Eurozone and other countries where very low interest rate regimes were prevailing could be effectively mobilised to develop infrastructure in middle-income countries which can offer attractive margins if acceptable risk minimisation instruments such as low-cost guarantees were available. While appreciating the outstanding contributions of the ADB with reference to the country partnership strategies and country operations business plans over the past 50 years, Karunanayake said it has resulted in tremendous dividends over the years.
“Sri Lanka’s economy has shown tremendous resilience in the past, countering many adverse situations and our strategy to improve growth and dilute the debt servicing cost will ensure a noteworthy contribution towards the expected evolution of the Asia and Pacific region,” he added.
He said a meagre 12% global GDP in Asia during the period of the inception of the ADB, swelling to almost one-third as at present and this century, could showcase the realisation of the projected 50% of the global GDP, heralding the dawn of an era of Asian economic domination.
“We will synergise with ADB in the noble effort to eradicate poverty from Sri Lanka,” he noted.
Highlighting the economic performance of Sri Lanka, he asserted that it recorded somewhat retarded growth last year due to adverse weather conditions, but the economy was now recovering to reach the envisaged economic objectives enumerated in the 2017 budgetary proposals.