21 April 2010

USAID Launches $2bn Business Alliance Program in North/East of Sri Lanka to Create 5000 Jobs

20th April 2010, www.dailynews.lk

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced a new business alliance program with Sri Lanka’s private sector.

Partnering with five local businesses, the USAID Public-Private Partnerships for Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka (PPP) Program is expected to create around 5,000 full-time jobs in the North East.

These five alliances are all with indigenous Sri Lankan private companies. USAIDs investment of about Rs.600 million will generate an additional Rs.1,400 million investment from the private sector for a total of about Rs 2 billion.

The sectors include aquaculture, apparel manufacturing, logistics, and horticulture.

By establishing a ready-made garment plant in Omanthai, near Vavuniya in the Northern Province, an alliance between USAID and a leading garment manufacturing and export company will create 1,000 jobs for the internally displaced people, including young widows.

An alliance between USAID and a Sri Lankan aquaculture company will bring expanded production in the Eastern and Northern provinces with the dual goal of increasing fish-based income and enhancing the aquaculture supply chain of high value seafood products. By the end of the three-year project, 1,300 smallholder farmers will increase their net income by 300 percent.

A leading logistics company will invest in logistics activities to help farming communities.

Through this alliance, farmers in Northern and Eastern provinces will have an opportunity to increase both their production and income.

At least 1,500 farmers and fishermen will benefit from this alliance.

Cold storage units will be built in Jaffna, Ampara, and Batticaloa.

An alliance between USAID and a Sri Lankan horticulture company will improve the productivity and profitability of fruit and vegetable farming in Jaffna, Vavuniya, and Mannar by minimizing post harvest losses and by enhancing farmers skills in modern farming.

Around 1,100 farmers will participate in the program.

In order to rebuild economic security in the Eastern Province, the alliance with a local garment company will invest in a ready-made garment factory in Samanthurai in Ampara.

The ready-made apparel manufacturing plant will consist of 15 to 20 machine lines and more than 1,000 employees.

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