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Tackling Project Bottlenecks to Improve Development Outcomes

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Through the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (8th NSEDP), Laos has focused on maintaining high economic growth that benefits all people and in continuing to reduce poverty.

The country welcomes the work of its international partners to improve and enhance the assistance they provide to help the people of Laos.

This was a key statement delivered by the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Kikeo Chanthaboury during the Joint Country Portfolio Review (JCPR) Meeting, held in Vientiane yesterday.

The meeting led by the government of Laos reviewed the implementation performance of projects and programmes financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank Group.

During the meeting, project implementation challenges were discussed, and measures agreed to streamline processes and improve performance and effectiveness, according to a joint statement from ADB and the World Bank Group.

With a combined active portfolio of approximately US$1.2 billion as of June 2016, ADB and World Bank Group operations in Laos include projects to benefit agriculture and rural development, education, transport, industry and trade, environment, and municipal infrastructure.

The size of this combined portfolio underscores the importance of collaborative initiatives like today’s Portfolio Review to improve implementation performance and yield greater development results in the country.

“We appreciate the active participation of all stakeholders in the annual Joint Country Portfolio Review. The ADB values cooperation with the government and the World Bank Group to improve portfolio performance and ensure we remain relevant, responsive and results-oriented development partners,” ADB Laos Resident Mission Senior Portfolio Management Specialist, Mr. Steven Schipani said.

Focusing on overall development progress, participants from the line ministries discussed implementation challenges, and also identified methods and new ideas for improving and sharing good practices of project start-up and implementation, procurement, financial management and taxation, and monitoring and evaluation.

“This meeting is a useful platform to identify joint actions to address bottlenecks and to improve the effectiveness of both World Bank Group and ADB financed projects, which ultimately will contribute to the government’s achievement of the anticipated outcomes of the 8th NSEDP,” the Acting World Bank Country Manager in Laos, Mr. Evgenij Najdov said.

The JCPR meeting is an annual event led by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and jointly organised by the ADB and the World Bank Group.

The JCPR aims to help strengthen portfolio performance in Laos and enhance ownership of the projects by the implementing agencies. It also aims to improve the dialogue between the government and its development partners.

Source: Vientiane Times