In keeping with the Sri Lankan government’s policy, Korea will be looking at country specific partnerships to enhance trade and commercial activities. Korea will contribute to balanced development of Sri Lanka and will consider further increasing its financial support for the ongoing development activities. While respecting the country need for funding, the assistance will be provided for the required areas of priority, Embassy of the Republic of Korea Second Secretary Jeong Dongik told Daily News Business.
Korea assistance in the form of Economic Development Cooperation Fund for Sri Lanka covering wider sectors has contributed for accelerated development. There has been 33 .3 percent increases in the EDCF projects over the years, he said.
The Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) process was established in 1987 by the Republic of Korea with the mandate of helping developing countries to spur industrial growth and economic stability.
Currently Sri Lanka is the fourth largest recipient of the EDCF with approximately US $ 0.5 billion of the fund spent on 22 national projects, composed mostly of building infrastructure and establishing social safety networks.
“We are considering the PPP model for EDCF projects and labour cooperation is a major part of economic cooperation. Sri Lanka has the biggest quota in employment in Korea and there are over 25,000 employed at present, he said.
An MoU between Korea and Sri Lanka was signed to provide US $ 200 million through the EDCF to Sri Lanka for the period between 2013 to 2015 to support the country’s national projects.
The MoU on EDFC is expected to speed up economic cooperation between the two countries, as Sri Lanka is able to estimate the size of future support from Korea, which will help the country plan future development. Korea can offer more opportunities to its enterprises to participate in Sri Lanka’s national projects.
Among the major national projects supported by the EDCF were Colombo Galle road rehabilitation project, Horana area telecommunication facility improvement project, expansion of outside line plant of Gampaha secondary switching centre area project, Greater Galle water supply project, Balangoda- Bandarwela road rehabilitation project, construction of solid waste disposal facilities project, Sri Lanka improvement of Peradeniya Anuradhapura road project, Sri Lanka Ruhunupura water supply development project, Hatton- Nuwara Eliya roadimprovement project and establishment of Colombo Central Vocational Training Centre and Gampaha College of Technology in Sri Lanka.