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Better access


to world heritage


Sri Lanka transportation project to improve access to Sinharaja forest reserve and stimulate key sectors


By Anna Ilaria-Mayrhofer T 24


MAKING THE CONNECTION


The 147 km A017 (Galle-Deniyaya- Madampe) is the main artery linking two important trade hubs: Ratnapura in south-central Sri Lanka; and Galle in the south, which is the second largest port in the country.


he OPEC Fund has signed a US$40 million loan agreement with Sri Lanka to co-finance rehabilitation of an 18 km stretch of the A017 road corridor in the


southern region of the country. On completion, the project is expected to help promote trade opportunities, reduce tr costs / time and stimulate key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and mining. The road will also help develop tourism by improving access to the Sinharaja forest reserve – a UNESCO World Heritage area located inin the south-west lowland wet zone of Sri Lanka – and connect some of the most remote areas in the country.


o ravel ser nka OPEC Fund Director-General Dr


Abdulhamid Alkhalifa described the project as an “integral part” of Sri Lanka’s development policy framework aimed at strengthening the transport sector and boosting socioeconomic growth. He added that the OPEC Fund hoped to maintain its “excellent ties” with the country.


The ‘Rehabilitation of the A017 Road Corridor Project (Rakwana – Suriyakanda)’ is co-financed by the government of Sri Lanka.


by the government of Sri Lanka.


retch he


Dating back to 197 , the OPEC Fating back to 1976, the OPEC Fund’s partnership with Sri Lanka includes public sector commitments totaling close to


partnership with Sri Lanka includes public sector commitments totaling close to US$373 million – cir


US$373 million – circa 60 percent of which has been directed at anspor


of which has been directed at the transportation sector. Under its private sector and tr


small


and medium-sized enterprises.


nder its private sector and trade financing windows, the OPEC Fund has extended financing in suppor country’s micr


OPEC Fund has extended financing in support of the country’s micro, small- and medium-sized


OPEC Fund


Director-General Dr Abdulhamid


Alkhalifa (right) and Sri Lankan Finance Minister Dr Ranepura Hewage Samantha Samaratunga at the loan signature ceremony.


cent


In line with the government’s aim to develop key corridors in Sri Lanka’s highway network, portions of the A017 have been undergoing rehabilitation. In addition to the newly-signed project l loan, the OPEC F


oan, the OPEC und also helped finance the upg


finance the upgrading of a 13.3 km section of the Rakwana-Mada


the ‘Road Network Development Project,’ which w completed in 2016.


Project,’ which was successfully completed in 2


section ofthe A017 – this time the Rakwana-Madampe corridor under the ‘Road Netw


PHOTO: Chaminda Silva/www.shutterstock.com


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