New Silk Road Finance Awards 2017 South Asia: Best local bank for BRI
National Development Bank
Sri Lanka, with its strong manufacturing and ports sectors, is an important way station on the Maritime Silk Road, boasting strong and long-standing trade links with both China and the west.
In recent years, the relationship between Beijing and Colombo has blossomed, with China stumping up capital to help Sri Lanka build much-needed infrastructure from highways and rail lines to new airport facilities. Colombo has embraced the new relationship, hosting the Guangxi, China-Sri Lanka Economic Cooperation Forum in May.
A few Sri Lanka-based lenders were quick to see the potential in the Belt and Road Initiative, but none more so than National Development Bank (NDB), which set up its first Chinese office in 2014, a dedicated service catering to Sri Lanka’s growing Chinese business community and staffed by Mandarin-speaking relationship managers.
NDB, under CEO Dimantha Seneviratne, now boasts 16 correspondent banking relationships with mainland financial institutions, and was the first Sri Lankan lender to roll out a renminbi-denominated transactional service.