ADB to Provide More Support for Development in Laos

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$32 million for the Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project in Laos next year.

This information was confirmed on Monday by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Khamlian Pholsena after returning from the 21st GMS Ministerial Conference, held in Thailand from November 30 December 1.

Speaking at the press conference in Vientiane, Dr Khamlian stated that the ADB will also provide additional financing of US$11 million for GMS modernisation of SPS Agencies for a trade facilitation project in 2017.

“The support is part of the Greater Mekong Sub-Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan (GMS RIF-IP) and is meaningful for the development of Laos,” Dr Khamlian said.

In 2018, the ADB will provide assistance of around US$125 million for the two projects- US$ 65 million for the GMS Second Tourism Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth initiative and the remaining US$60 million for the GMS Fourth Corridor Towns Development Project.

Mentioning the21st GMS Ministerial Conference, Dr Khamlian led the Lao delegates in attendance and met ministers from other GMS countries, GMS senior officials and national coordinators, other officials from concerned ministries and agencies as well as ADB officers.

During the conference, Dr Khamlian discussed with other GMS ministers the documents related to the Greater Mekong Subregion mid-term review, the revised regional investment framework implementation plan 2020, and the role of special economic zones in improving the effectiveness of GMS economic corridors.

Other issues of study include strengthening the Greater Mekong Subregion programme’s institutional framework and a review of the configuration of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Corridor, which were both discussed among officials from the concerned sectors.

The ministerial conference was an annual meeting of GMS ministers. It provides policy direction for the programme and oversees progress in identifying and implementing ‘results-oriented’ subregional cooperation initiatives.

The 21st GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-21) carries the theme ‘Spurring Inclusive Growth Along the GMS Economic Corridors.’

The MC-21 commenced with a senior officials’ meeting and a development partners’ meeting on November 30. The formal ministerial meeting took place on the morning of December 1, followed by a closed-door ministerial retreat in the afternoon.

The objectives of the conference were to review the progress of various GMS initiatives as contained in the GMS Regional Investment Framework and to outline the implementation plan (GMS RIF-IP) and discuss the results of a midterm review of the RIF-IP.

Another purpose was to endorse certain proposed initiatives aimed at the further development of the GMS economic corridors and to review specific outputs, agreements, and recommendations from various GMS sectors of cooperation.

Source: Vientiane Times

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