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World Bank Says its Lending to Sri Lanka Will More Than Double

The World Bank said its lending to Sri Lanka will more than double in the year starting July to help spur investment and sustain economic expansion.

The island will receive $500 million in the period under a recently endorsed new country partnership strategy and $527 million in the 12 months ending June 2014, Susan Razzaz, a senior country economist at the development lender, said by telephone from Colombo today. The country currently borrows about $200 million annually under concessionary terms, she said.

“Sri Lanka needs to ensure it keeps growing and change the structure of the economy for middle-income country status,” Razzaz said. “Sri Lanka is also seeking means to increase its exports.”

The nation has overhauled economic policy this year, seeking to damp import demand, narrow the trade gap and protect foreign reserves. The central bank predicts 7.2 percent growth in the $50 billion economy in 2012.

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