IFC and Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Set Up First Hydropower Developers’ Working Group
IFC and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry established the country’s first Hydropower Developers’ Working Group in December 2013, which aims to help the sector troubleshoot business challenges and improve environmental and social risk management.
The launch event attracted about 60 government officials and executives from Chinese, French, Japanese, Lao and Thai hydropower companies, who agreed that a platform is needed to discuss collaboration and share knowledge. They highlighted dam safety, assessing and managing the cumulative impact of hydropower projects, and financing as their top areas of interest.
IFC’s Sustainable Business Advisory Manager for East Asia and the Pacific Ian Crosby described the working group as a big step forward for promoting international environmental and social standards in Lao’s hydropower sector.
“Properly managing environmental and social risk is essential for the sustainable development of Lao's hydropower sector," said Crosby. "IFC is committed to working with the private sector to help the Lao government harness the country’s natural resources to achieve economic growth and protect communities and the environment.”
The working group – scheduled to meet for the first time in February – enables members to identify business opportunities, share knowledge, discuss policies, and strengthen ties with financiers, suppliers, and key government players in Lao’s rapidly developing hydropower sector. It also provides an opportunity for companies to discuss issues with the Lao Business Forum, which serves as a platform for dialogue between the government and private enterprises.
The working group will meet regularly in the coming months.