In Hanoi, Vietnam:
Van Anh Chu
Phone: (84) 024 3937 8745
Vientiane, Lao PDR, June 5, 2018— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Bank of Lao PDR introduced concepts on green credit policy at a workshop in Vientiane today, subsequently aiming to contribute to the advancement of sustainable financing across Lao PDR. Adopting sustainable financing policies would help the country improve environmental and social standards in high-risk sectors such as hydropower. Such policies would also help developers adhering to good international practices gain access to financing.
Sustainable and green finance are becoming essential for financial market stability and new opportunities in emerging markets. Lao PDR is one of 10 founding members of the Sustainable Banking Network (SBN). An IFC-supported network of banking regulators and associations, SBN was launched at the first Emerging Market Green Credit Forum held in Beijing, China, in 2012. Today, the network has 35 members representing $42.6 trillion in banking assets, accounting for more than 85 percent of total banking assets in emerging markets.
With support from the Australian Government, about 40 officials from the Bank of Lao PDR took part in the IFC training today to learn from the experiences of IFC’s SBN and the China Green Finance Committee – a non-for-profit organization coordinating green finance initiatives in China since 2015.
“IFC shared today how other emerging markets approach sustainable financing. Drawing lessons from these experiences could help contribute to Lao PDR’s Green Growth Strategy, and gradually integrate green credit policies and guidelines into our banking system,” said Phongsavanh Phomkong, IFC Head of Office based in Vientiane. “To ensure the success of sustainable financing, relevant capacities should be built among officials and decision makers so that they are confident to implement green credit policies and regulations.”
Integrating sustainable finance policy into the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP 2016-2020) is a priority for Lao PDR. It will help the country better manage its natural resources and protect the environment. It will further help attract public and private investment in green growth activities. Currently, the government of Lao PDR is preparing a Green Growth Strategy — led by the Ministry of Planning and Investment — and revising a Commercial Bank Law led by the Bank of Lao PDR.
"Sustainable financing addresses long-term environmental and social impacts of development projects,” said Kate Lazarus, Senior Operation Officer and Team leader, Hydro Environmental and Social Advisory Project, IFC. “The hydropower sector is one key area in Lao PDR that can benefit from green financing to ensure that high environmental and social standards are met."
Since 2013, IFC has been working to advance sustainability in Lao PDR’s hydropower sector. This effort aims to increase the shares of sustainable private sector investments that adhere to good international industry practices. Additionally, IFC works with commercial banks to raise their lending standards to hydropower projects in Lao PDR.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org