The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held a dissemination seminar on the Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor (CTEC) to share the final policy consultation paper with the Sri Lankan government. Officials from the Ministries of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Industry and Commerce, Development Strategies and International Trade, the Sri Lanka Customs and other relevant ministries and organizations participated. The ADB-Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) was launched in April to support the Sri Lankan Government in drawing a blueprint for CTEC.
KSP is a special technical assistance program provided by the Korea Eximbank under the auspices of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of Korea to share Korea’s development experience and knowledge accumulated over the past decades with partner countries.
Even though Sri Lanka is just below the threshold of upper-middle income country status, there are challenges that it needs to overcome. Low foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow compared with those in other countries like Viet nam and Myanmar, a non-vibrant SME sector, an inadequate customs system and risks arising from unplanned urbanization are some of the challenges. These factors contributed to a decline in the export to GDP ratio from 29% in 2000 to 12.5% in 2016.
In this context, by providing hands-on experiences and knowledge that the Republic of Korea acquired from implementing similar economic corridor development projects from 1970s to 2000s, this ADB-KSP joint consulting program will make practical contributions to the CTEC initiative which will boost an export-oriented economy and revitalize Sri Lanka. The program offers comprehensive policy recommendations tailored to the needs of Sri Lanka, especially focusing on four areas – FDI promotion, strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs, single window customs system and urbanization. Korea Eximbank may finance development projects related to these four areas and other economic infrastructure in Sri Lanka.