The Asian Development Bank’s Country Director for
Laos, Mr. Gil-Hong Kim, recently
the ADB has pledged to increase its financial assistance to the Lao PDR in the next
two years, aiming to help Laos mitigate the impacts of the current global
financial crisis to enable its economy to recover by 2010 at the earliest. For this year, 2009, the Bank has allocated
US$89 million to fund five important projects, including improving the quality
of higher education, developing public health services, improving production efficiency
of small and medium businesses, and developing and improving transportation and
communication links between northern Laos and its neighbors in the Greater Mekong
Sub-region, as well as providing technical assistance to the Lao administration.
In 2008, the Asian Development Bank provided Laos a total of US$ 53 million in
assistance that was used mainly to fund Laos’ poverty reduction projects in rural areas.
current global financial crisis has also led the ADB to lower its forecasts of
Laos’ economic growth, predicting that Laos’ economy will expand at an annual rate
of between 5.5% and 6.5% during 2009 from its earlier forecast of 7.5%, and between
1.5% and 2.5% lower than that of the Lao government’s projection.
another development, the 6th Legislature of the Lao National Assembly,
during its 6th ordinary session in December, approved additional
funding for the government, increasing its budget for 2008-09 from 10,026
billion Kip to 10,648 billion Kip. The additional money is meant to help the
country recover from the damages caused by severe flooding in September of
2008. The government has said it
expected its recovery efforts to cost 217 billion Kip more than the original
estimates, because flood damages are widespread, with almost 80,000 hectares of
farmland and over 520 irrigation canals destroyed, as well as many roads
linking urban centers to rural areas.
to Songrit’s report in Laos for more details.