The World Bank (WB) has identified weak investment climate and lack of efficiency in public spending as constraints for Sri Lanka to achieve its growth ambitions, the global lender announcing its FY 2012-2016 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the country said.
“The World Bank identifies some challenges as constraints for the country to achieve its growth ambitions. One important area identified in the CPS is improving the investment climate and increasing the efficiency of the public spending. This is seen as an area that needs urgent intervention if the country wants to achieve its investment targets,” a statement by the WB said.
It also said that achieving the planned growth and development will also require structural shifts in the economy and policy changes.
“Boosting international competitiveness and supporting the internal integration of the economy will also require a series of policy changes,” the statement noted.
In its new CPS for Sri Lanka, the WB plans to dramatically increase the resources to help the country achieve its ambitious development goals as a middle-income country.
According to the WB, the new CPS captures key development goals identified by the Sri Lankan government and identifies three pillars that encapsulate these goals: Facilitating private and public investment, supporting structural shifts in the economy and improving living standards and social inclusion.
“It is a privilege for the bank to be part of the development efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka. It is also encouraging to partner with a government with a wellarticulated development vision. The task now is to move from vision to actions on the ground. The road ahead in achieving the ambitious goals and growth targets set in the vision is not going to be easy. It will require important policy changes, modernization efforts and innovative strategies. It will also require a consolidation of social inclusion, peace and security. The World Bank has worked with many countries in the world which have transitioned from lower-income countries to middle-income countries that have faced similar challenges. We are more than happy to share those experiences,” Diarietou Gaye, Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives said.
From a social stand point, improving living standards and social inclusion warrants increasing the quality of services to be at an expected level of a middleincome country. Ensuring equitable access to high quality services is essential.
“The CPS was produced after conducting extensive consultations with diverse groups of stakeholders who belonged to different sectors, regions, gender and ethnicities. The summation of all these consultations helped us to identify what the country’s needs are and the challenges to achieve them too. It was a very satisfying experience for us and we hope the World Bank can partner Sri Lanka to greater prosperity in the years to come,” Susan Razzaz, Country Economist and Task Team Leader for the development of the CPS for Sri Lanka said.