Global funding boost for Lankan retail biz

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 00:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of the Canadian Government, will invest $ 15 million in Sri Lankan retail chain Richard Pieris Distributors Ltd. dfh

The investment will help the company expand its modern retail network, support job creation and develop local supply chains. It will also be used to install solar panels on company store rooftops.

The financing consists of a $ 7.5 million loan from IFC’s own account and a further $ 7.5 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program. The program promotes private sector financing for clean energy projects.

 “IFC’s support comes at an important time as we step up our operations and widen our network of branches across the island,” said Richard Pieris & Co. Plc Group Chairman Dr. Sena Yaddehige. “Through this planned expansion, we will contribute towards improving food safety and consumer access to better quality food products at affordable prices.”

The investment in Richard Pieris Distributors will help create over 800 jobs directly and an even larger number of jobs indirectly by 2020. It will also help the company adopt green building measures and promote climate-smart technologies.

The Canadian Government’s contribution to the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program has helped make this financing package viable. To date, Canada has provided close to 271 million Canadian dollars to the program, to climate change investments that are generating significant environmental and economic benefits in developing countries.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in renewable energy and green jobs in developing countries. Through its partnership with IFC, Canada is working to foster sustainable economic growth and contribute to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, setting the stage for a cleaner, more prosperous global future,” said Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Sri Lanka’s modern trade sector currently constitutes less than 20% of total trade in the country, which is significantly lower than other emerging markets. The country’s retail sector has significant potential to contribute towards economic growth in an environment of steady economic development.

 “As the sector grows, companies like Richard Pieris Distributors are in a prime position to expand their networks, boost employment opportunities through small businesses in their supply chains and create value for consumers,” said IFC’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives Amena Arif. 

Sri Lanka is a priority country for IFC’s work in South Asia. IFC’s committed portfolio in Sri Lanka covers projects across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, finance and healthcare. IFC also provides advisory services to promote sustainable growth among small and medium enterprises by facilitating access to finance and by offering capacity-building and training opportunities.