PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Group’s Executive Directors Visit Lao PDR

April 12, 2013


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World Bank Group’s Executive Director congratulates Lao PDR's Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong on the country’s remarkable progress.


VIENTIANE, April 12, 2013 â€“ Eight Executive Directors,  two Alternate Executive Directors and the Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the World Bank Group recently visited Lao PDR from March 31 to April 4, 2013 to learn more about the World Bank Group’s engagement in the country, and reiterate the World Bank Group’s continued commitment in supporting Lao PDR’s development priorities. During the visit, the Executive Directors met with H.E. Mr. Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister of Lao PDR, H.E. Mme. Pany Yarthortou, President of the National Assembly, and they also met with senior Government Ministers, development partners, the private sector, and civil society representatives.

Mr. Omar Bougara, Executive Director from Algeria, who was the head of the delegation, congratulated Prime Minister Thongsing on the country’s impressive development success. â€œLao PDR’s strong economic growth and the success in poverty reduction have been truly remarkable,” said Mr. Bougara.“The World Bank has built a fruitful partnership with the Government of Lao PDR over the past 50 years and we stand committed to further help strengthen the country’s institutions for sustainable and inclusive development".

Since Lao PDR joined the World Bank in 1961, the Bank has supported the country with over US$ 1 billion in credits and grants, and also in other forms such as analytical and advisory work. The new Country Partnership Strategy for 2012-2016 between the Government of Lao PDR and the World Bank Group provides important building blocks to drive development in an inclusive and sustainable way. The Partnership Strategy aims to enhance economic competitiveness and connectivity, strengthen sustainable natural resource management, and promote inclusive development, with a cross-cutting theme of stronger public sector management.

During the mission, the Executive directors visited the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project in Nakai district, Khammouane province, which was built with World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and International Development Association (IDA) support and has been transformative for Lao PDR. The Executive directors also visited the Lao Environment and Social Project (LEnS), Education for All - Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI) Catalytic Fund Application Project and Power to the Poor (P2P) Project sites in Bolikhamsay Province, and met with local authorities and project beneficiaries to get the first-hand experience of the World Bank Group’s operation in Lao PDR and real development results on the ground.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focusing exclusively on private sector development in developing countries, also facilitated a meeting between the executive directors of the board and a wide range of IFC private sector clients and World Bank Group partners. The meeting allowed the executive directors to be informed about challenges and achievements of the private sector in the country. IFC works through its advisory and investment services to promote inclusive growth for local businesses, improve access to finance for the under-banked, and foster sustainable development of natural resources.

The World Bank Group’s Executive Directors, which consist of 25 representatives covering 188 member countries, are responsible for the conduct of the general operations of the Bank and exercise all the powers delegated to them. The Executive Directors select a President who serves as Chairman of the Boards.

Which Executive Directors visited Laos?

Anna BRANDT â€“ Executive Director from Sweden representing Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

Omar BOUGARA â€“ Executive Director from Algeria representing Algeria, Afghanistan, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco, Pakistan and Tunisia.

Cesar Guido FORCIERI â€“ Executive Director from Argentina representing Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Jörg FRIEDEN â€“ Executive Director for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

Merza H. HASAN â€“ Executive Director from Kuwait representing also Bahrain, Arab Republic of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Republic of Yemen.

Hideaki SUZUKI - Executive Director for Japan.

Sundaran ANNAMALAI  â€“ Executive Director from Malaysia representing Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, Vietnam.

Shaolin YANG - Executive Director for China.

Sara Magalit AVIEL - Alternate Executive for the United States of America.

Stefan NANU â€“ Alternate Executive Director from Romania representing for Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania and Ukraine.

Media Contacts
In Vientiane
Silvia Luanglath
Tel : +856 (21) 266 269
tluanglath1@worldbank.org



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