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* Japan approves Rs. 305 million for enhancing training capacity of Sri Lanka's MILODA Academy of Financial Studies
Sat, Aug 2, 2014, 11:28 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 02, Colombo: The Government of Japan has approved Rs.305 million to be financed through the counterpart fund under Japan's non-project grant aid scheme for the capacity development program through MILODA, Academy of Financial Studies (AFS), the Embassy of Japan in Colombo said in a statement.

The program is aimed at institutionalizing and enhancing the capacity of AFS, the training arm of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

The jointly selected new Co-CEOs - Professor J. Hasagawa and Mrs. H.M.N.S. Gunawardena, being the Japanese and Sri Lankan CEOs respectively, assumed duties Friday the 1st of August 2014, with a Japanese Chief Specialist dispatched from Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) to strengthen the existing local staff.

"Japan recognizes the paramount importance of enhancing institutional capacity of the public sector, in the transformation of Sri Lanka as an upper-middle-income economy as envisaged in the 'Mahinda Chintana-Vision for the Future'," the statement said.

The establishment of AFS in January 2013 is a fulfillment of a long felt need and was warmly welcomed by leaders of both Japan and Sri Lanka at their Summit Meeting held in Japan last March. It was hoped that this institution would vitalize the intellectual exchanges between Japan and Sri Lanka. Since last August, JICA has held several seminars at the AFS imparting knowledge on areas of specific importance to the public sector, benefiting senior staff of the Ministry of Finance and Planning and other key institutions coming under its purview.

The Government of Japan intends to combine assistance through various channels to support this program so that AFS will be better equipped with improved capacity to design, propose, execute and evaluate national economic and fiscal policies toward promoting investment and economic development for the benefit of the people of Sri Lanka. Around 8,500 managerial staff will benefit through training covering the diverse areas of significance including economic policy, fiscal policy, planning, accounting, revenue administration and related information technology.

The Government of Japan sincerely hopes that this assistance will develop AFS as a center of knowledge and excellence for the public finance sector officials in Sri Lanka and continue to acquire regional recognition.

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