Lao NEWS on LNTV: ADB president stresses to improve Laos’ investment climate.16/3/2015

VO ADB president stresses the importance of reform to improve Laos’ investment climate
INTRO: Asian Development Bank or ADB President Takehiko Nakao has stressed the importance of reform to improve Laos’ investment climate, along with further diversifying the economy and improving macro-economic management to boost growth.
STORY: Takehiko Nakao made the suggestions at a press conference held at the Bank’s office in Vientiane on Thursday the 12th of March during a working trip to Laos. Noting that Laos has enjoyed considerable private investment, the bank president said reforms are vital to foster private sector developments as an engine of economic growth. The reforms are needed to simplify business regulations through clear tax structures and easier access to finance.
He said, an improved business climate would support the growth of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a means of providing finance and expertise to much-needed infrastructure such as roads, airports and urban services. However, Takehiko Nakao said that a key challenge facing the country is to ensure it obtains jobs and investment from integration, and is not merely used as a transit point for trade among its neighbours.
ADB expects Lao economic growth to reach 7 percent this year and 7.2 percent in 2016, driven mainly by mining and hydropower which account for 18 percent of gross domestic product.
ADB President Takehiko Nakao said shortfalls in tax revenue collection are expected to continue despite recent improvements, highlighting the need for efficient budget management and effective tax enforcement.
The press conference took place shortly after Takehiko Nakao met Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and key ministers in the cabinet.