June 18, Colombo: The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning at the President's House.
At the meeting with the President, Mr Nakao discussing Sri Lanka's growth prospects commended the country's strong economic growth, as well as its ongoing efforts to lift the country into upper middle income status.
During the discussion, President Rajapaksa briefed Mr. Nakao on the country's post-war development and explained how the Government immediately attended to the resettlement of the internally displaced persons and the rehabilitation of ex-combatants.
President Rajapaksa also described the development projects the Government undertook immediately after the war to develop the Northern Province. "You must go and see the development for yourself," the President told Mr. Nakao.
Mr. Nakao, who arrived in Sri Lank Tuesday on a three-day visit, also met with several ministers and senior officials, to discuss global, regional and bilateral issues, including challenges and opportunities for the Sri Lankan economy over the short to medium term.
The ADB President spoke at the Academy of Financial Studies yesterday and tomorrow, he will visit several ADB-supported projects across the country. This is Mr. Nakao's first visit to the country.
ADB forecasts that the Sri Lankan economy will expand 7.5% both this year and next, one of the fastest growth rates in the region.
Since joining ADB as a founding member in 1966, Sri Lanka until the end of last year has received government and nongovernment loans totaling US$ 6.17 billion in lending and US$ 358 million in grants. The ADB supports Sri Lanka in the sectors of energy, roads, water supply and sanitation, education and skills development, post-conflict reconstruction and water resource management.
Director General of ADB's South Asia Department Mr. Juan Miranda, the Country Director of ADB's Sri Lanka Resident Mission Ms. Sri Widowati and other officials from the ADB also joined the discussion.
Ministers Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dinesh Gunawardena, Basil Rajapaksa, Mrs. Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Dullas Alahapperuma, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Planning and Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal joined the discussion.
(Photos by Chandana Perera)