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Development assistance in Sri Lanka

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Expand economic opportunities for the poor in Sri Lanka

Expand economic opportunities for the poor in Sri Lanka


The growth and competitiveness of the Sri Lanka economy, particularly Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), would benefit significantly from better access to finance and productive markets, improved access to technology, addressing skills gaps in the workforce, and better coordinated and inclusive policy reform. Australia has identified target sectors and value chains that offer the highest potential to increase the income and wealth of the poor, and women in particular. We work closely with the private sector and government to enable business by improving skills, technology, regulations and policies. Australia's investment in this area is channeled through two distinct activities: a Market Development Facility (MDF) and a 'Skills for Inclusive Economic Growth' (S4G) program.

Related initiatives

Economic Opportunities for the Poor

$27 million, 2014-2020

Australia's two major activities in this field, the MDF and S4G program, aim to reduce poverty through inclusive, private sector-led economic growth. Both investments deliver the Australian Government's development priorities by adapting to the Sri Lankan context innovative approaches from elsewhere in the aid program and by improving women's economic empowerment.

The MDF operates to identify and analyse sectors that have the potential for strong, pro-poor growth. It develops partnerships with key players, including SMEs, in the private sector to grow markets and strengthen the engagement of the poor with those markets.

S4G (S4G) pilots a flexible, market-oriented technical vocational education and training (TVET) program in Sri Lanka's poorest provinces, focusing on the poor (especially women and people with a disability) in the informal sector. It seeks to improve the ability of the poor to gain jobs in the expanding tourism sector.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
Skills for Inclusive Growth Design Concept 2016 Design concept

Related links

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 9 May 2017
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