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BRIEF September 8, 2021

Consultations: Lao PDR - World Bank Group Country Partnership Framework


The World Bank Group proposes three paths to more balanced development outcomes in Laos

WB Systematic Country Diagnostic Proposed Framework

Every five years the World Bank Group takes stock of development progress and challenges in the Lao PDR through a Systematic Country Diagnostic. This feeds into the next five-year lending and advisory program agreed between the Government and the World Bank, known as the Country Partnership Framework.

In 2022, the World Bank also produced a Country Economic Memorandum, which analyses the Lao PDR’s economic history, situation and potential, seeking options that could help the country take advantage of its strategic location and natural wealth for inclusive and sustained growth.

In preparing all three of these documents, the World Bank Group sought the opinions of stakeholders on the most promising reforms and investments — alongside the most salient challenges — that could help the Lao PDR recover from the current economic slowdown, and develop a resilient economy that brings about poverty reduction and shared prosperity. Ahead of the consultations, the World Bank identified three main challenges facing the country:

  • Increasing macroeconomic instability.
  • Jobless growth with rising inequality.
  • Vulnerability to climate change, environmental degradation, and shocks.

Last Updated: Jan 06, 2023

To address these challenges, the Bank proposed three paths to more balanced development outcomes:
    1. Stabilize the economy, for example by securing the sustainability of public debt, increasing fiscal space (especially through increased domestic revenues), and promoting stability in the financial sector.
    2. Share the benefits of economic growth more equitably, for instance by supporting a more dynamic private sector, improving connective infrastructure, promoting a well-functioning labor market, improving child nutrition, enhancing education, and ensuring equitable access to quality health services.
    3. Sustain development progress, for example by improving management of natural resources, taking action on climate change, increasing urban planning, establishing comprehensive social protection, improving financial inclusion, and encouraging climate-smart agriculture.

    Strengthening governance and institutions, a cross-cutting theme, will be vital to support the three pathways.

    To gauge the opinion on these issues, and to collect advice and perspectives, the World Bank held two rounds of consultation discussion sessions. 

    The first round was held in September 2021:

    1. Government staff, National Assembly members and Secretariat, Academia / Think Tanks;

    Sep 22, 2021, 9 am. Co-hosted by World Bank and Ministry of Planning and Investment

    2. Private sector 

    Sep 23, 2021, 9 am. Co-hosted by IFC and Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    3. Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations and citizens.

    Sep 24, 2021, 9 am. Hosted by World Bank Group

    Presentations were given by the World Bank Group team and the floor made open for questions and discussion. The discussions were held in Lao and English with interpretation supplied. Click here to see results from the SCD round of consultations. 

    The secound round of events was organized as follows:

    1. Government staff, National Assembly members and Secretariat, Academia / Think Tanks

        December 9 2021, 9-11:30 am

    2. Development Partners, Citizens and Civil Society Organizations

        December 10 2021, 9.30-12:00 pm

    3. Private sector

        December 13 2021, 9-11:30 am 

    These sessions involved presentations by the World Bank Group on the proposed content of the Country Partnership Framework and a discussion period for questions and opinions. Simultaneous Lao-English interpretation was provided. 

    You can request materials presented at the above sessions and also submit opinion and comments by emailing to

    A matrix detailing how recommendations received by the World Bank Group during the consultations were incorporated into the revised Country Partnership Framework is available here

    To facilitate public particpation in the consultations during COVID-19-related restictions, the World Bank Group Country Office designed Lao and English language summaries of the proposed goals and strategies of the Country Partnership Framework and created surveys open to all, inviting opinion on the main challenges facing the country. This information was published on the World Bank website, on social media channels, and promulgated through WhatsApp networks run by World Bank projects and development partners. Survey results in Lao and English broadly showed agreement with the diagnostics of the SCD and CPF.    

    The Country Partnership Framework has been approved by the Government of the Lao PDR and will be submitted to the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank in January 2023.   


    Last Updated: Jan 06, 2023