The newly signed grant compliments the World Bank’s support to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of customs administration in Lao PDR through simplification and automation of customs processes and procedures.
Vientiane, June 14, 2013 – The Vice Minister of Finance of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, H.E. Santiphab Phomvihane and the World Bank Country Manager for Lao PDR Keiko Miwa, signed today a grant agreement in the amount of US$6.5 million to further support the Customs and Trade Facilitation Project in Lao PDR. The grant builds on the achievements of the original International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$6 million, which was approved in 2008.
“This additional financing grant is timely. It will contribute to further improvement of customs administration and efficiency of customs processes in Lao PDR”, said Mr. Santiphab Phomvihane. “The project supports Government objectives in achieving high rate of economic growth that can translate into meaningful poverty reduction and improvements in transparency and accountability.”
The objective of the Customs and Trade Facilitation Project is to provide support in key areas that are designed to ensure full and effective implementation of the new Customs Law and its translation into modern and business-friendly systems and procedures. It will support the preparation of a series of implementing regulations and procedures consistent with international standards and accepted good practice approaches. It will also support the functional expansion and further geographical rollout of the Automated System for Customs Data and will strengthen the capacity of the Lao Customs Department to effectively maintain its ICT systems and infrastructure.
“Enhanced custom administration and trade facilitation is critical for Lao PDR to be fully integrated into the regional and global market,” said Ms. Keiko Miwa, World Bank Country Manager in Lao PDR. “We hope that the project will assist the Lao Customs Department to play a vital role in furthering the government’s broader trade facilitation and national competitiveness agenda”.
The Customs and Trade Facilitation Project forms part of an ambitious and integrated trade program supported by the World Bank in partnership with Australia, the European Union, Germany and Ireland. This includes a related IDA and Multi Donor Trust Fund financed project – the Second Trade Development Facility Project – as well as a National Single Window Non-lending Technical Assistance activity.