Laotian Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh acknowledges that the Asian Development Fund plays a crucial role in the economic growth and poverty reduction in many developing countries including Laos.
The prime minister made the remarks to the 2nd ADF Ten Donors' Meeting in Vientiane on November 26, adding that he hoped the Fund would continue to play a similar role in the years to come to help in the region's development.
Mr. Bouasone also said that with economic growth comes an increasingly wider gap in income and development levels, both domestically and internationally, as well as declining natural resources and deteriorating environments.
Nevertheless, ADF assistances have helped lift many Laotians out of poverty, with the poverty rate declining from 48% in 1990 to 33.5% in 2003 and 28.7% currently. The ADF has also allowed Laos to develop its infrastructures, tourist facilities and services, enabling it to receive some 1.2 million visitors in 2006.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao.