A high-level delegation from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest international public bank, is in town on an official three-day visit to explore new opportunities for future investments, an EIB press communiqué said.
During the visit, Andrew McDowell, the newly appointed Vice President of the EIB responsible for South Asia, is expected to discuss the recent engagement and future investment with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and senior government ministers, business leaders, members of the diplomatic community and local and international financial institutions.
McDowell will also inspect the ongoing construction work to upgrade the wastewater infrastructure in Colombo financed by the EIB in conjunction with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The EIB is Europe’s long-term lending institution and owned directly by the 28 European Union (EU) member states.
The EIB has supported investment in Sri Lanka since 2002 including backing climate-related investment, private companies and post-tsunami recovery.
The visit marks the first visit of an EIB Vice President to Sri Lanka in more than five years.
“The European Investment Bank has a strong track record of supporting transformational investment that improves the lives and economic opportunities across Asia and around the world.
This week’s visit to Sri Lanka builds on the fruitful discussions with Minister Karunanayake following the European Investment Bank’s first-ever support for water investment in Sri Lanka and the first loan for public sector investment agreed with this government,” said McDowell, before his arrival in Colombo.
“The visit by the European Investment Bank is an opportunity for the Sri Lankan government to showcase their plans for the sustainable development of the country. I am confident that strengthened engagement by the European Investment Bank will lead to new investment across the key sectors that are vital for the modernisation of the country’s infrastructure,” highlighted EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Tung-Laï Margue.
Today the delegation is expected to visit a number of sites around Colombo to see how the new investment is improving the supply of clean water and treatment of waste water in the capital city. The EIB is one of the world’s largest financiers of water-related investment.
In January, the EIB agreed to provide 50 million euros to support the improvement and expansion of sewage networks across the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.
The loan will help the Colombo Municipal Council to achieve its goal of providing full sanitation coverage to benefit people living and working in the greater Colombo area and represented the EIB’s fifth sovereign loan in the country.
The new water investment programme will include the provision of a new sewage network in currently unserved areas of Kirulapone. Under the initiative a new wastewater treatment facility will also be built to reduce pollution at the Wellawata sea outfall.
ADB will also support the water investment project and this new initiative marks the first time that the EIB has financed a project alongside another international financial institution in Sri Lanka.
Looking ahead, the EIB expects to provide more than one billion euros each year to support new investment across Asia.
Last year, the EIB provided 84 billion euros to finance new investment around the world, including 19.6 billion euros for climate-related investment.