Vientiane, August 14, 2014 – The Government of Lao PDR and the World Bank Group today signed two agreements for the new World Bank Group financing of more than USD40 million.
The new support for the Small and Medium Enterprise Access to Finance Project includes a USD10 million grant and a USD10 million credit from the International Development Association, and at least USD4 million from the International Finance Corporation in risk sharing funds. The project will provide long term credit to small firms and help them to grow and create more jobs.
“The ceremony today reaffirms the commitment and cooperation between the Government of Lao PDR and the World Bank in supporting Government priorities as outlined in our National Socio-Economic Development Plan. SMEs, hydropower and mining sectors form an important part of the Lao economy. The two projects will contribute to the socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability of Lao PDR”, said H.E. Mme. Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, Vice Minister of Finance of the Lao PDR.
The Government of Lao PDR and the World Bank Group also signed an agreement to continue technical assistance to Lao PDR in managing its hydropower and mining resources. This support comes in the form of USD17.8 million Additional Financing to the Technical Assistance for Capacity Building in the Hydropower and Mining Sectors Project.
“Financing for small firms is vital for the Lao economy. It will help create more jobs, increase family incomes and reduce poverty. Equally important will be the sustainable use of Lao PDR’s wealth of hydropower and mining resources. The World Bank Group is pleased to offer its strong support for these two projects and looks forward to continuing our close partnership with Lao PDR”, said Mr. Ulrich Zachau, Country Director of the World Bank for Southeast Asia.