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 Lanka’s 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 country’s economic prospects, country rating and the resource needs, the allocation of resources to Sri Lanka from the World Bank’s 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
Washington DC

27 June 2003



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