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IFC Offers Support to Businesses in Central Region of Lao PDR

Vientiane, Lao PDR, April 30, 2013— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, helps enterprises in Lao People’s Democratic Republic with financing and expertise to grow their businesses, create jobs, improve livelihoods, and spur economic development.
In partnership with the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, IFC hosted a workshop in Savannakhet on April 26 to introduce businesses in the central part of the country to its financing and advisory solutions. More than 50 private sector representatives attended the event, in addition to senior members from the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and local government officials.
Following the workshop, participants visited businesses in the Savan-Seno special economic zone near Savannakhet where incentives help attract investments that help boost economic growth in the province and throughout Lao PDR.
“We are long term partners of IFC, beginning with the establishment and administration of the Lao Business Forum in 2005,” said Chanthao Pathammavong, vice president of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This event is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness among our members about IFC’s products and services and to help them understand how best to approach the institution for support.”
The workshop in Savannakhet followed similar events in Luang Prabang and Pakse last year, also in partnership with the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
"Lao PDR is on the cusp of strong economic growth driven by the development of the country's natural resources and by accession to the WTO earlier this year," said Simon Andrews, IFC regional manager in the Mekong region.  "Located at the intersection of important regional transport routes, Savannakhet is well-placed to benefit from the increase in regional trade.  IFC plans to work with businesses, banks, the local government, business associations, and foreign investors in Savannakhet to help create jobs, raise incomes, and reduce poverty locally and throughout the country."
 “We partner with private enterprises, government organizations like the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other local and international partners to bolster Lao PDR’s sustainable economic growth through private sector development,” said Simon Andrews, IFC regional manager in the Mekong region. “We offer our support to businesses to help create jobs, raise incomes, and reduce poverty,”
IFC has been active in Lao PDR since 1998, and has provided nearly $44 million in investments and around $9 million in advisory programs. In Lao PDR, IFC seeks to improve the private sector’s access to finance, and capacity building, helping businesses reach their full potential and play a vital role in economic development.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In fiscal year 2012, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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