At the 9th Lao Business Forum, the Hydropower Developers’ Working Group (HDWG) of the Lao PDR presented its first statement on sector issues, part of its effort to effect sustainable change within the country’s hydropower sector.
Experts agree that private sector involvement will be essential to sustainably develop the Mekong Basin. Yet cooperation and information sharing between the private sector and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) remains limited.
With its global expertise on sustainable hydropower development, IFC provides tailored advice to hydropower companies and lending banks to help them address environmental, labor, occupational health, and safety issues effectively.
Soukmano Manivong believes creating a dedicated environmental and social team would support the successful development of sustainable hydropower projects at his company, Electricite du Lao Generation (EDL-GEN).
In Lao PDR, a majority of hydropower financing comes from overseas financiers. New trend is that banking regulators & associations from the 3 top lending markets are on the move to support banks’ adoption of sustainable-banking practices.
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IFC Promotes Sustainability of the Hydropower Sector in Lao PDR
Lao People’s Democratic Republic is one of the least developed countries in Southeast Asia and 28 percent of its population lives below the national poverty line of about $1.50 a day. With more than 80 percent of the country’s hydropower potential untapped, the government has identified hydropower development as key to stimulating economic growth and alleviating poverty.
Tapping into this rich natural resource could bring electricity to nearly all rural households by 2020, drive business growth and generate income to reduce poverty. Power supplies would also allow companies to move into rural areas, creating jobs for local communities. The challenge, however, is to develop this natural resource sustainably. [read more]