Colombo, Sri Lanka, February 3, 2010—Rachel
Robbins, Vice President and General Counsel for IFC, a member of the World
Bank Group, expressed confidence in Sri Lanka’s sustained growth and IFC’s
commitment to encouraging public and private sector development in the
country. Robbins oversees the provision of legal services at IFC.
Based in Washington D.C., Robbins’ first official visit to Sri Lanka includes
field tours to projects supported by IFC to promote the strategic agenda
of promoting inclusive growth, developing infrastructure and addressing
impacts of climate change.
While in Sri Lanka, Robbins met with the Senior Minister for International
Monetary Cooperation Sarath Amunugama and Governor of the Central Bank
Ajith Nivard Cabraal to discuss IFC’s ability to do more through investment
and advisory interventions to facilitate inclusive growth in post-conflict
“IFC is committed to supporting Sri Lanka’s initiatives to promote inclusive
growth. We believe that the benefits of economic activities and opportunities
should reach local industries and underserved communities who need them
most,” said Robbins following her meetings.
Robbins met with small business owners and industry representatives during
her field visit to Hikkaduwa and Galle. IFC has been advising local
tourist operators and other entrepreneurs to improve quality of standards
and offer better services to their customers.
“It’s impressive to see the scale at which IFC projects have impacted
many entrepreneurs in southern Sri Lanka. With easier access to finance,
information, and relevant training to improve quality and standards, small
and medium entrepreneurs are able to enhance their income levels and become
sustainable,” said Robbins.
Robbins’ visit reaffirms IFC’s continuing interest in Sri Lanka’s resilient
growth. Since 1998, IFC has been offering its services to Sri Lanka,
both as a financier to develop and implement private sector projects and
as an advisor to strengthen small and medium enterprises.
Sri Lanka is a focus country for IFC’s program in South Asia. IFC’s
$116 million portfolio covers project]s across a range of sectors including
infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, banking, and health care, in
addition to advisory support to small and medium enterprises. Through
its Advisory Services, IFC promotes sustainable growth among small and
medium enterprises by facilitating access to finance and offering capacity-building
and training opportunities.
To learn more about IFC’s activities in South Asia, visit www.ifc.org/southasia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest development institution
focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity
for people to escape poverty and improve their lives—by providing financing
to help businesses employ more people and provide essential services, mobilizing
capital from others, and delivering advisory and risk-management services
to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty,
our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.