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IFC Pledges Further Support for Private Investment in Laos
Source: kplnet.net
Source Date: Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Country: Lao People's Democratic Republic
Created: Aug 23, 2010

(KPL) The International Finance Cooperation (IFC) has pledged to further support the development of infrastructure, energy and financial sectors for Laos in order to spur the country’s economic growth.

The commitment was made at a meeting between Lao Minister of Finance Somdy Douangdy and the IFC Vice-President for Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Rashad R. Kaldany, at the Ministry of Finance on 17 August.

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, also plans to maximise the contributions from private companies for poverty alleviation, according to yesterday’s IFC press release.

The two sides have discussed on the IFC’s support for the government’s development agenda by encouraging the participation of the private investment sector in areas such as hydropower.

The IFC's strategy in Laos focuses on developing the private sector as a catalyst for economic development, promoting inclusive growth through improved access to infrastructure, and supporting environmentally and socially sustainable growth, particularly through renewable energy and sustainable development of Lao natural resources.

Laos is endowed with natural resources and is strategically located in one of the fastest growing regions in the world, said Kaldany.

The increased interest in the hydro and mining sectors bodes well for continued economic growth.

"Our focus is to support the development of these resources in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner and that the projects contribute to improving people's lives," he further stated.

Last month, the IFC, through its joint World Bank-IFC sub-national initiative, extended a $15 million loan to Electricite du Laos, the largest utility company in Laos, to expand its electrical grid to 37,000 rural households in central and southern parts of the country, supporting phase two of the country’s Rural Electrification Programme.

During the visit to Laos this week, Mr Kaldany discussed opportunities for scaling up IFC’s partnership with Laos during meetings with private sector partners and senior government officials in Vientiane on Tuesday.
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