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* Sri Lanka grants a credit facility of US$ 10 million to Maldives
Fri, Aug 19, 2011, 12:54 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka has granted a US$ 10 million credit facility to the Republic of Maldives, the state media announced Thursday.

An agreement between the Government of Maldives and the Bank of Ceylon, through which the credit facility is administered, was inked Thursday in Colombo in the presence of the President of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed.

The agreement would be beneficial for economic development of the two countries and will help Sri Lanka to increase its export earnings, the government said.

The credit facility is expected to encourage the Maldives to import food supplies, especially fruits and vegetables from Sri Lanka to the hotels in the atolls.

Speaking at the function, the Maldivian leader said Sri Lanka is the main trading partner of his country and he hopes to further strengthen the relationship.

He added that Maldivian government will take measures to remove more customs duties on goods imported from Sri Lanka.

Observing that Sri Lanka has achieved rapid economic development during the two years since the end of the war in May 2009, Nasheed said it is an immense achievement for a country that suffered a three-decade long war.

Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon Dr. Gamini Wickremasinghe has said that the Bank expects to open another branch in Maldives before the next SAARC summit to benefit the Sri Lankan exporters and strengthen trade relationships.

Deputy Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena and General Manager of the Bank of Ceylon Mrs. W.A. Nalini were also present at the exchange of the documents related to the credit facility.

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