Rs. 5 billion German helping hand for Small and Medium Enterprises
Enlarge image The loan agreement was signed at the NDB Bank Head Office by Mr. Russell de Mel, Chief Executive Officer NDB Bank (centre) and Bernd Tuemmers, Senior Vice President DEG. German Ambassador Jens Plötner (extreme right), Mr. Ashok Pathirage- Deputy Chairman NDB and Mr. Nilam Jayasinghe, NDB Bank's Vice President, Finance Planning and Treasury were also present. (© NDB) Colombo, Oct 8 – The crucial Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector got a fresh boost with access to long-term loans under a joint initiative between Germany’s and Sri Lanka’s development finance institutions.
The German development finance institution DEG (Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH), a member of KfW Bank Group recently signed two agreements, one with the DFCC Bank to provide a loan of US$ 30 million and the second with the National Development Bank (NDB) for US$ 21 million, to strengthen Sri Lanka’s SME sector.
Enlarge image DFCC Bank CEO Nihal Fonseka (left) and DEG Senior Vice President Bernd Tuemmers shake hands whilst exchanging the agreements signed in Colombo in connection with the US$ 30 million long-term financing. German Embassy's Deputy Head of Mission Marja Einig is also present. (© Dailyft.lk) Both DFCC and NDB aim to use the loans to create financial instruments specially targeting SMEs across a wide range of industries including renewable energy sector. There is also a special emphasis on supporting SMEs in the conflict affected North and East to fuel regional economic growth.German Ambassador Jens Plötner said. “SMEs are the backbone of the German economy. This sector with over 3.6 million companies drives innovation and has made the German economy more resilient. That is why we are happy to give a helping hand to Sri Lanka’s small and medium entrepreneurs, who are at the heart of promoting sustainable growth by creating employment and taking development to areas outside the few big industrial zones.
DEG is one of the largest European development finance institutions with a special focus on developing economies and countries in transition. It has had a presence in Sri Lanka since the late 70’s and has funded several public-private partnership projects as well as given loans to local development finance institutions.