MINISTER MORAGODA MEETS U.S. GOVERNMENT,
WORLD BANK AND IMF OFFICIALS
World Bank increases allocations to Sri
Lanka by fifty per cent
Minister Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Economic Reform, Science
& Technology concluded an official visit to Washington D.C.
During his visit, Minister Moragoda met with a number of senior
officials of the US Administration, Congressional leaders, Senior
Officials of the World Bank and IMF, media personalities, and
members of the academic community.
U.S. - Sri Lanka Bilateral Discussions
Among the senior Administration officials Minister Moragoda met
were Ambassador Robert Zoellick, United States Trade Representative,
Jim Moriarty, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director
for South Asian Affairs in the National Security Council, Ms.
Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs of
the Department of State. Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead, U.S. Ambassador
Designate to Sri Lanka called on Minister Moragoda for discussions
prior to taking up his new assignment in Sri Lanka. The Minister
discussed with these US Government officials Post- Tokyo developments
involving the peace process and bilateral matters. These discussions
included the proposed official visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
to the U.S. to meet with President George W. Bush later this year.
At his meeting with the U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador
Robert Zoellick, the Minister discussed Sri Lankas economic
reform process and Sri Lanka US bilateral trade liberalization.
Ambassador Zoellick complimented the leadership of Prime Minister
Wickremesinghe and the Minister in implementing economic reforms
and assured that his office stands ready to support this process
and agreed to stay in regular contact.
Inauguration of the Sri Lanka Congressional Caucus
The Minister also participated in the inaugural meeting of the
Sri Lanka Congressional Caucus of the 108th Congress. This meeting
was attended by the Co-Chairs, Representative Jerry Weller (Republican
Illinois) and Frank Pallone (Democrat - New Jersey). Representatives
Weller and Scott Garrett (Republican New Jersey) will visit
Sri Lanka to discuss trade and business relations. Representative
Weller serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee responsible
for trade matters.
Meetings with IMF and World Bank Officials
Minister Moragoda met with Mr. Shengman Zhang, Managing Director
of the World Bank and Mr. S. Sugisaki, Deputy Managing Director
of the IMF. At these two meetings they discussed the improving
economic prospects in Sri Lanka, highlighting the importance of
making effective use of the large amount of aid pledges committed
by the donor community. Both Mr. Zhang and Mr. Sugisaki commended
the Government for its commitment to the peace process and for
implementing necessary economic reforms. The Minister indicated
that a supportive institutional arrangement will be established
to improve aid utilization. Mr. Zhang informed the Minister that
considering the significant improvements in the countrys
economic prospects, country rating and the resource needs, the
allocation of resources to Sri Lanka from the World Banks
International Development Association (IDA) was increased by 50
per cent from the earlier planned US$200 million per year over
the next two years to US$300 million per year.
Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States, Devinda R. Subasinghe
participated in all the meetings with Minister Moragoda.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
27 June 2003