The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Colombo, the development office of the U.S. Embassy, has recently forged four new business alliances with Sri Lankan private companies, under USAID’s Public/Private Alliance (PPA) Program. These partnerships are expected to create 10,000 full-time jobs in northern Sri Lanka.
An alliance between USAID and a Sri Lankan construction consortium will establish seven mobile training centers for construction craftsmen in the Northern Province. Training will be provided to 5,000 persons over a period of six months including three months of on-the-job training.
Jaffna Garment Alliance
USAID has established another PPA with a leading garment textile firm in Jaffna which manufactures and exports denim textiles to U.S. clients including Levi’s, Jones New York, J.C. Penny, Tema, and Charles Voegele. This alliance will create 1,800 full-time jobs over three years.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Alliance
To help fill workforce gaps in BPO and IT, USAID is teaming with leading BPO and IT/English language training companies to establish professional IT and English skills development training centers in each of the five districts in the Northern Province.. Courses in Business Process Outsourcing, Enterprise Java, and English Language Skills will be offered at no charge to over 3,000 under- and unemployed students who will then participate in on-the-job training schemes with private firms.
Northern Garment Alliance
USAID is establishing another PPA with a major garment manufacturer to expand its operations to northern Sri Lanka. This alliance is expected to initially employ 750 full-time staff and market its finished apparel to such firms as Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Columbia Sportswear, Next, Tesco, and Burberry. Emphasis will be placed on supporting widows, single mothers, and families with disabled members.
USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn said, “The U.S. Agency for International Development/Sri Lanka is proud to announce these new public private alliances. We are committed to helping conflict-affected communities return to normalcy through the creation of sustainable jobs and increased business opportunities. USAID strongly believes that the private sector is the most important engine for economic growth.
In April, USAID launched five new alliances in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka, including aquaculture, horticulture, logistics, and garment partnerships. I am confident these new alliances together with the previously established alliances will be significant catalysts to spur development in the North.”
These four alliances are all with Sri Lankan private companies. USAID’s investment of about Rs.1.1 billion is generating an additional Rs.2.9 billion investment from the private sector for a total investment of approximately Rs.4 billion in the construction, business process outsourcing, and apparel manufacturing sectors.
(The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided development and humanitarian assistance in developing countries worldwide for nearly 50 years. Since 1956, USAID/Sri Lanka has invested nearly Rs.230 billion to benefit all the people of Sri Lanka).