Sustainable infrastructure, small and medium scale enterprises development, renewable energy, sustainable transport, water infrastructure and backing for small business investment are the main areas of EIB’s future engagement in this country in the years ahead, he disclosed.
Sri Lanka and the European Union both recognise the crucial need to support sustainable investment.
He expressed the confident that strengthened engagement by the E IB, the bank of the European Union, will support new investment across key sectors crucial for the continued transformation of Sri Lanka and benefits Sri Lankans across the country.
The European Investment commitment to support Climate Action is enshrined in the EIB’s Climate Strategy approved in 2015.
In support of the 2015 Paris agreement the EIB has a commitment to increase climate finance in developing and emerging economies to represent 35 percent of annual lending outside Europe.
He noted that the bank has extended EUR 50 million long-term loan facility for water investment across the city of Colombo two months ago.
The long-term loan for Colombo water represented the EIB’s first ever support for water investment in Sri Lanka and the first loan for public sector investment agreed with the post civil-war government, he revealed.
The new EIB loan, provided in a partnership with the Asian Development Bank, will help Colombo Municipal Council to achieve its goal of ensuring full sanitation coverage across this city.
This will benefit millions of people living and working in the capital and contribute to achievement of sustainable development goals in Sri Lanka.
Successful implementation of a project of this size is challenging. Even more do due to a changing climate that shifts weather patterns, brings harsher storms and less certain rains, he pointed out.
EU Ambassador Tung-Lai Margue said the EU was expanding economic support to Sri Lanka and there was a positive outcome on restoring GSP+ trade benefits to the island nation.
EU has earmarked a sum of EUR 210 million for Sri Lanka from 2014-2020, he revealed.
EIB Vice President Andrew McDowell met Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake during their first high level delegation’s visit to Sri Lanka.