WASHINGTON, May 22, 2012 - Today, the Board of Directors of the World Bank Group (WBG) discussed the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the FY 2012-2016, dramatically increasing the resources available for Sri Lanka to achieve its ambitious development goals as a Middle Income Country (MIC).
The CPS captures key development goals identified by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and identifies three pillars that encapsulate these goals: facilitating private and public investment, supporting structural shifts in the economy and improving living standards and social inclusion.
“It is a privilege for the Bank to be part of the development efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka. It is also encouraging to partner with a government with a well articulated development vision. The task now is move from vision to actions on the ground. The road ahead in achieving the ambitious goals and growth targets set in the vision is not going to be easy. It will require important policy changes, modernization efforts and innovative strategies. It will also require a consolidation of social inclusion, peace and security. The World Bank has worked with many countries in the world which have transitioned from a lower income country to a middle income country that have faced similar challenges. We are more than happy to share those experiences,” said Diarietou Gaye, Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The World Bank identifies some challenges as constraints for the country to achieve its growth ambitions. One important area identified in the CPS is improving the investment climate and increasing the efficiency of the public spending. This is seen as an area that needs urgent intervention if the country wants to achieve its investment targets
Achieving the planned growth and development will also require structural shifts in the economy. Boosting international competitiveness and supporting the internal integration of the economy will also require a series of policy changes.
From a social stand point improving living standards and social inclusion warrants increasing the quality of services to be at an expected level of a MIC. Ensuring equitable access to high quality services is essential.
“The CPS was produced after conducting extensive consultations with diverse groups of stake holders who belonged to different sectors, regions, gender and ethnicities. The summation of all these consultations helped us to identify what the country’s needs are and the challenges to achieve them too. It was a very satisfying experience for us and we hope World Bank can partner Sri Lanka to greater prosperity in the years to come,” said Susan Razzaz, Country Economist and Task Team Leader for the development of the CPS for Sri Lanka.