Sri Lanka is a priority country for IFC, with efforts focused on closing the country’s large development gaps by supporting key sectors to help deliver sustainable, inclusive and strong long-term growth.
Marking 50 years of operations in Sri Lanka in 2020, IFC has played a significant role in the country’s growth story through support for small businesses, tourism, women, including women entrepreneurs, infrastructure, trade finance and agribusiness.
In 2020, IFC stepped up to support Sri Lanka’s companies, especially small and medium sized enterprises, and their employees hurt by the economic downturn caused by the spread of COVID-19. The $50 million loan to Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s largest private bank, was one of the first investments under IFC’s global COVID-19 fast track financing facility, helping the country’s small and medium businesses deal with the adverse impacts of the global pandemic.
The year 2020 also saw IFC’s largest investment in Sri Lanka over the past five decades. The $175 million investment in John Keells Holding (JKH) aims to build resilience by expanding its supermarket chain in Sri Lanka and also helps fund expansion or refurbishment of hotel properties in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
With gender remaining a key priority sector across the work in the country, IFC, supported by the government of Australia under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program, is working to increase women’s workforce participation in Sri Lanka’s private sector.
Over the past five decades, IFC has provided cutting-edge solutions and expertise to our diverse clients across the country – creating opportunities where it is needed the most.
As of June 2020, IFC’s total committed portfolio in Sri Lanka since 1970 is over $1.6 billion.
STORIES OF IMPACT
Sri Lankan Start-Up Offers a Lifeline During Crisis: All around the world, businesses are looking at new ways to operate and retain jobs despite the massive challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Sri-Lanka, IFC-client PickMe—a digital ride-hailing company—mobilized its drivers and fleet of vehicles as emergency support for people under lockdown.
As Gardens Grow in Sri Lanka, Access to Opportunities Flourishes: IFC’s long-standing partnership with SANASA has helped increase access to finance for micro and small entrepreneurs —especially women entrepreneurs and farmers living in Sri Lanka’s underserved regions.
Published in October 2020