Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IFC, Canadian government promote Laos

IFC, Canadian government promote Laos

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Friday held a workshop to promote investment in several key sectors in Laos. PHOONSAB THEVONGSA/THE STRAITS TIMES

IFC, Canadian government promote Laos

THE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of Canada, in partnership with the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment on Friday held a workshop to promote investment in several key sectors in Laos.

The workshop also aimed to guide the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy dialogue between the government, its development partners, the private sector and other stakeholders.

The workshop was co-chaired by Department of Planning and Investment director-general Manothong Vongxay, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Canada to Laos Timothy Edwards and IFC Country Manager for Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam Kyle Kelhofer.

The one-day event brought together experts from Canada and the IFC, senior government representatives, PPP practitioners and policymakers to share their knowledge on how PPPs can work as a viable tool in mobilising private investments.

With economic growth exceeding an average of seven per cent per annum over the past decade, Laos is one of the fastest growing economies in the East Asia and the Pacific region.

But with constrained fiscal resources and growing infrastructure needs, the government wants to mobilise investment from the private sector, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and is crucial to driving future growth.

Spearheaded by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, recent reforms, including a prime ministerial PPP decree and creation of a PPP Unit at the ministry, are expected to facilitate the implementation of PPPs in sectors such as infrastructure and health.

“Promotion of the PPP investment scheme, in a situation where the government is facing fiscal constraints, will help relieve the fiscal pressure resulting from the amount of investment needed to develop public infrastructure and deliver public services,” said Manothong.

“The PPP scheme will help to significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investment projects, while mitigating exposure to different risks by the public sector throughout the project life cycle. Therefore, it will help to materialise the socio-economic development plan towards the vision of sustainable and green growth.”

Participants presented case studies from emerging economies on structuring and implementing PPP schemes in sectors ranging from transport and power transmission infrastructure to tourism and healthcare services.

This will provide inputs for the government’s next steps as it formulates its own PPP programme.

“For 30 years, Canada has been a pioneer in the use of public-private partnerships. We are proud to share our best practices so that Lao stakeholders can apply this innovative financing mechanism to major infrastructure and energy projects which will advance the country’s sustainable economic growth,” said Edwards.

“The IFC works with governments to help find PPP solutions that are tailored to the local context. We are committed to helping the Lao government through PPPs, thereby increasing the role of the private sector in the economy,” Kelhofer said.

“With extensive global experience and expertise in structuring PPPs to international standards, the IFC is well-equipped and keen to explore Laos’ power sector, especially transmission facilities, airport transportation and even unconventional sectors, including tourism and forestry.” VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK


  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.