CAPE TOWN - The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed a US$40 million (more than R600 million) loan agreement with Sri Lanka to co-finance the rehabilitation of an 18 km section of the A017 highway in the southern region of the country.
The project, co-financed with the government, is expected to help promote trade, reduce travel costs and time, and stimulate key sectors of the Sri Lankan economy such as agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and mining.
The loan was signed by the OPEC Fund’s director-general, Dr Abdulhamid Alkhalifa and secretary to the Treasury in Sri Lanka's ministry of finance Dr Ranepura Hewage Samantha Samaratunga.
Alkhalifa said the project was an “integral part” of Sri Lanka’s development policy framework aimed at strengthening the transport sector and boosting socioeconomic growth.
The OPEC Fund hoped to maintain its “excellent ties” with the country and further a fruitful partnership dating back to 1976, he added.