Vientiane, Lao PDR, May 27, 2014
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is working with the Lao government and hydropower companies to improve cooperation between the public and private sectors to sustainably manage hydropower development, which has been identified as a key driver for the country’s economic growth.
Several hydropower companies participated in the latest quarterly meeting held by the Hydropower Developers’ Working Group – established by IFC and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry – on May 21 in Vientiane to discuss their challenges and prioritize issues that are expected to be tabled with the government. Those issues include taxation and royalty payments to the government, the need to improve regulations and access to financing for small hydropower projects, the availability of skilled labor, and the management of cascades.
“At the meeting, the hydropower companies discovered that they are facing similar challenges that need to be raised with the government to improve the sustainable development of hydropower in Lao PDR," said Robert Allen, Chairman of the working group and Chief Executive of Theun Hinboun Power Co. “We hope to reflect the views of both small and large hydropower developers as well as suppliers and service providers.”
Following the meeting, a representative from the Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance presented the findings of a recent study on fiscal policy options for hydropower projects. He said the ministry is setting up a technical working group to discuss potential new options for fiscal management and revenue sharing of such projects.
“We are encouraged by the active participation of hydropower developers in the Hydropower Developers’ Working Group and we're confident the working group will become an important and effective platform for dialogue between industry players and the government,” said Simon Andrews, IFC Regional Manager for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. “Working together and maintaining a broad-based stakeholder dialogue will be important for the sustainable development of Lao PDR's hydropower resources.”
Since 2011, IFC has been working in Lao PDR to improve environmental and social standards for the hydropower sector through working with financial institutions, government agencies and hydropower companies. The Hydropower Developers’ Working Group is an initiative of IFC’s Environmental and Social Advisory Services in Lao PDR and is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Japanese government.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit