The embassy of the United States of America announced on Wednesday (15) that the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) board of directors has approved USD 120 million in new loans and investments to grow and support the Sri Lankan economy.
“For seventy years, the United States has provided foreign assistance, loans, and trade opportunities to help grow the Sri Lankan economy and support the Sri Lankan people,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung. “Today’s announcement is good news for the private sector, as the DFC’s USD 120 million in new investments will reach small and medium-sized businesses and help to provide equity, jobs, and futures.”
The projects announced today include a USD 100 million direct loan to the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s leading commercial private bank, to expand lending to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and address the credit gap for women-owned businesses, which represent 25% of MSMEs in Sri Lanka.
In addition, DFC announced a USD 15 million loan to BPPL Holdings PLC, a polyester yarn manufacturer incorporating recycled plastic materials. The loan will support increased production and strengthen Sri Lanka’s recycling infrastructure in support of efforts to reduce plastic waste in Sri Lanka.
Also announced today was a USD 5 million loan to MA’s Tropical Food Processing (Private) Limited, a sustainable food company, to finance its expansion and grow its supplier network. This effort will strengthen Fair Trade practices in Sri Lanka and create new jobs, with an emphasis on increasing women’s employment.
These new loans build on DFC’s existing portfolio in Sri Lanka of nearly USD 300 million in funding for the MSME sector over the past two years.
Secretary Blinken calls PM
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had a telephone converastion with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 13 to discuss Sri Lanka’s current economic and political challenges.
Secretary Blinken had affirmed the United States’ commitment to Sri Lanka during this challenging time. He had also agreed to promote more investments after the island nation concludes its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.