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AmCham Sri Lanka urges government to consider MCC grant

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4 September 2019 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Requests govt. to consider grant before MCC board meets on Sept. 18
  • Says grant focuses on two key constraints to SL’s economic growth
  • Points out two projects proposed under Compact have 45% combined rate of return 
  • “Together the two projects are to benefit 11.3mn people”-AmCham


The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Sri Lanka yesterday urged the government to consider approving the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact grant of US$ 480 million.


“… we call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to approve this grant, consider the advantageous impact the MCC will have on the country’s economy, and make this a priority before MCC’s board of directors meets on September 18,” an AmCham Sri Lanka statement issued to media said.


According to AmCham, the grant focuses on two key constraints to Sri Lanka’s economic growth identified by the Harvard University’s Centre for International Development—weak transport infrastructure and land administration practices. 


“All of the projects and activities in the programme were proposed by the Government of Sri Lanka years ago, in extensive consultation with line ministries and departments, business chambers and over a hundred individual firms, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, banks and local entrepreneurs,” the AmCham statement said.
 It added that, the transport project, if implemented, has an estimated economic rate of return of 19 percent, while the land project has an estimated economic rate of return of 26 percent. 
“Both these projects have a further intangible social impact. The transport project will reduce traffic congestion in and out of Colombo, create safer more reliable public transportation by modernizing the bus service and lower the transport costs required to connect people and goods with markets through upgrades to existing interprovincial roads in the Central, Uva, and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. 

“The land project will support existing, historically under-resourced government initiatives to help the government create an inventory of State lands, strengthen the land valuation department, increase tenure security for smallholders, women, and firms by scaling up Bim Saviya and digitize deed records so that they are less vulnerable to damage, theft,
and loss.


“Together, the two projects are projected to benefit 11.3 million people, which account for 54 percent of Sri Lanka’s population,” the statement said. 


 AmCham Sri Lanka said it stands committed to implement its mandate, which is to promote activities that would encourage and stimulate investment by US companies, support ongoing business operations of its members and encourage bilateral trade between the US and Sri Lanka.


“AmCham Sri Lanka is strongly committed towards uplifting the country’s economy and aiding such development that will benefit its membership and the larger business community.”

 

 


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