Tag Archives: bank of laos

Cuba’s President Diaz-Canel Takes East Asia Solidarity Tour to Laos

Cuba's president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Geographically distant but with a shared solidarity born of shared experiences of struggles for independence against colonial and imperial domination and sharing similar Marxist-Leninist institutions of state governance, the nations, peoples and ruling parties of Laos and Cuba have long-shared affiliations and affections from afar.

The friendship was celebrated in close quarters over the weekend as new agreements and traditional ties between the two parties, states and peoples of Laos and Cuba were affirmed as the country’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel made a visit to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on Saturday and Sunday.

“The name Cuba, for us, means friend in another sea,” Press Agency Prensa Latina reported the Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit as saying.

After talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement on sports as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Lao and Cuban central banks.

President of Cuba’s Council of State and Council of Ministers, Diaz-Canel is the third to hold the post since the country’s revolution led by its longtime party and state leader Fidel Castro, and is understood to be a front-runner to succeed Raúl Castro as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most important position, at the party congress in 2021.
Diaz-Canel reportedly reaffirmed Cuba’s intention to continue to cooperate and extend further assistance to Laos in fields such as human resource development, sports, and health, with the two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest.

Talks were held with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and President of the Lao National Assembly, Ms Pany Yathotou.

The presidential visit is part of a tour that also sees official visits to Russia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam.

Cuba's President Laid Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Vientiane, Laos.

Wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Vientiane, Laos.

Flags of Laos and Cuba fly over That Luang Esplanade

Flags of Laos and Cuba fly over That Luang Esplanade, Vientiane, Laos

Cuba's president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

Cuba’s president Diaz-Carnel in Laos

IFC to Develop Credit System in Laos

Credit System in Laos

The International Finance Corporation, the financial arm of the World Bank Group, is in talks with the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL) to reform the credit system in Laos.

The reform is part of broader efforts to improve the country’s financial infrastructure and facilitate lending for smaller businesses, which will enhance economic growth.  

A financial symposium on credit reporting was held in Vientiane last Thursday, and was attended by government officials and representatives from local financial institutions. The symposium was funded by Canada, Japan, Switzerland, and the British Embassy.

The event saw collaboration between the National Bank of Cambodia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Bank of Thailand, and credit-bureau companies from around the region with the aim of raising awareness of credit reporting.

The Bank of the Lao PDR heard from various agencies on their credit-reporting models, and will assist in the bank’s efforts to upgrade the national credit-information bureau, a central platform that collates credit information of borrowers.

“A credit-information bureau can perform the crucial function of gathering and distributing reliable credit information, improving creditor protection, enhancing competition in the credit market, and ultimately increasing access to credit,” said Vattana Dalaloy, Deputy Governor, Bank of the Lao PDR.

“Our partnership with IFC will help us bring Lao PDR’s credit-reporting infrastructure in line with international standards, enabling businesses obtain the financing they need to grow and contribute to the economy.”  

Access to finance is a massive obstacle for doing business in the Lao PDR. Only 12 percent of micro- small, and medium-sized enterprises have access to formal credit, and almost half of those that require credit remain unserved.

Through use of credit-reporting systems, companies will be able to build positive credit histories, and a well-functioning system will assist banks and microfinance institutions to better manage credit risk. This would have the potential to significantly reduce lending costs and collateral requirements.

Credit-reporting systems are a critical part of any country’s financial infrastructure and are key to the creation of a healthy financial sector, according to Phongsavanh Phomkong, head of the IFC office in Vientiane Capital.

The symposium is part of an ongoing IFC project funded by Canada, Japan, and Switzerland to support the development of a standardized credit-reporting system for Laos.

Source: The Financial