On Wednesday, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Sri Lanka signed a US$165 million loan
agreement to provide immediate funding support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement by the ADB in Sri Lanka, this loan agreement
will also provide long-term financing to underserved SMEs, including women-led businesses and tea smallholders.
The agreement was signed by S. R. Attygalle, Secretary of the Ministry of
Finance, and Chen Chen, Country Director of the ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission.
“The government highly appreciates ADB’s long-term commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s development. SMEs will be essential to recovery from COVID-19. The new loan from ADB will help the government’s efforts of supporting SMEs in and after the COVID- 19 pandemic,” Attygalle said.
“We are glad to be of assistance to the SME sector at this crucial juncture when the sector has suffered a severe setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chen said after the signing of the loan agreement.
“We trust that this assistance will help SMEs to revive their businesses and contribute once again significantly to the Sri Lankan economy,” he added
The new financing will build on the existing Small and Medium Enterprises Line of
Credit Project approved by the ADB in 2016 to improve access to finance for SMEs.
In April, the ADB approved a $20 billion expanded support
package to support the response of its developing members to COVID-19.