ADB, Lao PDR Sign Agreements for Loans on Agriculture, Education, and Public Finance Management

News Release | 30 October 2019

VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (30 October 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) today signed three loan agreements worth $140 million that will help develop the country’s agriculture, education, and public finance management.

The agreements were signed by Deputy Minister of Finance Mr. Bounchom Oubonpaseuth and ADB Country Director for the Lao PDR Mr. Yasushi Negishi at a ceremony in Vientiane. Senior officials from the Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Planning and Investment; Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Ministry of Education and Sports; and other line ministries also attended the event.

“Strengthening irrigation system, rural roads, and nutrition condition will improve the productivity of farms, access to market, and the living standards of people,” said Mr. Negishi. “Providing support to education will help the country to supply readily employable graduates and reap the benefits of a demographic bonus. Support to public finance reforms will also help reduce the country’s vulnerability to economic shocks, maintain inclusive economic growth, and secure budget for social sector.”

ADB’s $45 million financing package for the Sustainable Rural Infrastructure and Watershed Management Sector Project will increase the incomes and improve the quality of life of people living in the four northern provinces of Houaphan, Louangphabang, Xaignabouli, and Xiangkhouang. This will help increase the provinces’ agricultural productivity, including using appropriate technologies; boosting rural connectivity and climate resilience; and improving the facilities and development strategies for better nutrition.

The Education for Employment Sector Development Program, approved by ADB in September 2019 with a $50 million loan, will help ongoing efforts to raise enrolment ratios and improve the quality of secondary education, and align post-primary education to the changing needs of the labor market to improve youth employability. ADB’s assistance will also support the government’s reform agenda to help equip secondary school youth with the foundational and soft skills needed in the current labor market.

Lastly, ADB’s $45 million policy-based loan for the first subprogram of the Strengthening Public Finance Management Program, also approved in September 2019, will help the government enhance public debt management, reform tax administration, improve medium-term fiscal planning and budgeting, and boost governance and budget credibility. It underlines ADB’s support for long-term reforms in a sequenced, demand-driven manner, in line with government priorities.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate poverty. In 2018, it made commitment of new loans and grant amount ting to $21.6 Billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members— from the region.