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* China lends US$ 290 million for Sri Lanka infrastructure development
Wed, Mar 10, 2010, 01:12 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 10, Colombo: China, through its Export-Import (Exim) Bank has provided Sri Lanka with a Concessional Loan of US$ 190 million to construct the country's second airport in Mattala and another US$ 100 million to expand the capacity of the Sri Lankan Railway, Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara and a delegation from the External Resources Department and Attorney General's Department signed two Concessional Loan agreements during a three-day visit to Beijing from March 3-5.

Dr. Jayasundara has had very productive discussions with the Exim Bank officers in fast-tracking many infrastructure development projects that are being evaluated by the Bank for future funding, particularly in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

The Treasury Secretary has particularly emphasized on speeding up the evaluation process for the construction of the A9 highway, the Foreign Ministry reported.

During his discussions with the Vice President of the Exim Bank, Zhu Hong Jie, Dr. Jayasundara had elaborated that with the electoral victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan government's development focus and the strategic plan set in place would progress unhindered.

He had explained that a vital ingredient for the realization of this development plan was the need to fulfill the infrastructure requirement and had appreciated China for assisting Sri Lanka at a very crucial stage of her socio-economic development shouldering a major portfolio of the finical requirements.

Dr. Jayasundara has been accompanied by Ambassador Karunatilaka Amunugama, Director General of Department of External Resources J. H. J. Jayamaha, Senior State Counsel Arjuna Obeysekera, and the senior officers of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing.

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