Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership
2011 marks the 50th anniversary of cooperation between Lao PDR and the World Bank Group, a partnership that has made an important contribution to shaping Lao PDR's economic growth and progress in overcoming poverty. Celebrating 50 years of partnership, this Commemorative Photo Book traces the evolution of engagement between Lao PDR and the World Bank that has transformed the country’s economy and redefined its development potentials.
: 50 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership 1980 1990 2000 1960 1970 2010 50 3 3A 1 1A 2 2A 4 4A 5 5A 6 6A 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR : 50 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR 50 , . , . . 1990-2010 6.5% . - VII, (MDGs) 2020. . , . . , . . . Dear Reader, The 50th Anniversary of the Partnership between Lao PDR and the World Bank is a wonderful occasion to celebrate, reflect and look ahead. Over the last half-a-century, we have witnessed a steady and substantial progress in the development of mutual trust and constructive dialogue between the Government of Lao PDR and the World Bank Group. Lao PDR has come a long way in the past years. The poverty headcount has declined from almost half the population to below one quarter within a decade. The economy has expanded on average by 6.5% per year between 1990 and 2010. The Government is committed to achieve the objectives outlined in the 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, Millennium Development Goals, and the goal of graduating from Least Developing Country status by 2020. Today Government of Lao PDR and the World Bank Group enjoy constructive working relationships to discuss key reform agenda and policy issues. Government of Lao PDR has benefitted from not only financial contributions but also analytical work and policy advice from the World Bank Group. I hope that the World Bank Group will continue to be our partner for years to come with the common objective of poverty reduction and inclusive development in Lao PDR. This commemorative photo book presents the highlight of Lao PDR's development path � the past, present, and future. The Government of Lao PDR looks forward to working with the World Bank Group and other partners to achieve our vision together. H.E. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Foreign Affairs 50 . , . . . . , 50% 25%. , , . . , . . 2020. Dear Reader, I am deeply honored to be associated with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of partnership between Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic and the World Bank. Over half a century ago, the country began its journey to become a modern nation and committed itself to long term development ambitions. The World Bank joined you on this journey by sharing lessons drawn from other parts of the world, customizing them to Lao PDR's needs. Today we can take pride in the achievements of our enduring partnership. Lao PDR has had remarkable success in lifting millions of people out of poverty and improving their lives. In less than a generation, the incidence of poverty in Lao PDR has dropped from about 50% to just a little over 25%. Lao PDR's commitment to development has delivered electricity to most households, schools to most children, and roads to many villages that were once inaccessible. It has also delivered economic self-sufficiency to many and transformed the country into an energy exporter to its neighbors. The World Bank Group is pleased that our partnership has supported these successes through our financing, technical assistance and policy advice. The World Bank Group looks forward to building an even brighter and more prosperous future with our partners in Government and with the people of Lao PDR. We are here to support you in continuing the fight against poverty that still affects too many people and to help you on the journey out of Least Developed Country status by 2020. James W. Adams Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Region The World Bank Group Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR 1 Foreword 2 : The Early Years: Embracing Opportunities to Improve Livelihoods 3 1970: The 1970s: Strengthening Working Relationships 4 1980: The 1980s: A Period of Transformation 5 1990: The 1990s: Connecting Communities 6 2000 : The 2000s - present: Working Steady Towards Common Goals 7 : 2 Reaching Milestones: Nam Theun 2 Implementation Begins 8 2020 Looking Ahead to 2020 9 50 Celebrating the Achievements of the Past 50 Years 2 4 14 20 11 32 2 0 42 58 62 66 1 THE WORLD BANK 1 F o re w o r d 50 , . 1960 . . 1970, . 50 , . Over the past 50 years, the Government of Lao People's Democratic Republic and the World Bank have forged a thriving partnership based on mutual trust. What began in the 1960s as an engagement during a challenging historical period has now evolved into 50 years of constructive partnership underpinned by Lao PDR's unwavering dedication to its long-term development goals. The partnership took considerable effort on both sides and required genuine efforts to understand differing points of view. However by the 1970s, Lao PDR and the World Bank identified the country's opportunities and began to develop a plan to move forward together. Celebrating 50 years of partnership, this commemorative photo book traces the evolution of engagement between Lao PDR and the World Bank that has transformed the country's economy and redefined its development potentials. 2 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1976 Kindergarden, Vientiane Capital, 1976 , , 1960 Teachers training school, Vientiane Province, 1960's 1990 2000 2010 2020 3 THE WORLD BANK 2 : Embracing Opportunities to Improve Livelihoods T h e E a r l y Ye a r s : 1960 , . , 1950. , (IMF) 5 1961 69 (IBRD), . IMF , . 30 1960, , . Surrounded by regional instability, the 1960s was a turbulent decade for Lao People's Democratic Republic, presenting a complicated economic, political and social landscape. Lao PDR, known then as the Kingdom of Laos, recognized its development challenges in the late-1950s. Focused on improving the livelihoods of its peoples, Lao PDR joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on July 5, 1961 and became the 69th member country of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the World Bank. One year after Lao PDR joined the IMF and IBRD, His Royal Highness Prince Souvanna Phouma, Prime Minister at that time, recognized that additional development aid was needed due to escalating regional hostilities. On July 30, 1962 Prime Minister paid a formal visit to Washington to meet with Sir William Iliff, then Vice President of the World Bank, to request country rehabilitation assistance. 4 1 9 6 0 s 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR IDA , 1963 IDA Articles of Agreement with Lao PDR, 1963 IDA, 1963 Signing IDA Articles of Agreement, 1963 1990 2000 2010 2020 5 THE WORLD BANK 1963, . . , . 28 1963, (IDA) 1963. IDA, . IDA , , , . (IFC) 29 1992, (MIGA) 5 2000. By early 1963, the World Bank embarked on its first fact-finding mission to Lao PDR. Historically significant, this mission gathered information that enabled an assessment of the economic situation and prospects for the country. Paving the way for future development, the mission also identified issues that would help stabilize the economic situation. Shortly thereafter on October 28, 1963 the International Development Association (IDA), a concessional finance arm of the World Bank Group that provides interest-free credits and grants for programs that boost economic growth, took action. Together with the IDA, a Lao PDR began to explore ways to reduce inequalities and improve people's living conditions. Although the first agricultural sector IDA-supported project would not become a reality until the next decade, the first ten years set the stage for cooperation between the Government of Lao PDR, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and bilateral donors as development plans shaped. Over time, Lao PDR also joined other institutions that are part of the World Bank Group: the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on January 29, 1992 and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) on April 5, 2000. 6 1 9 6 0 s 1970 1980 THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR , , 1966 Signing of Nam Ngum Development Fund Agreement, Washington DC, 1966 1990 2000 2010 2020 7 THE WORLD BANK - , , . 1950 4 . ( ) (ECAFE) . . Regional Cooperation for Equitable Development � The Mekong Committee Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam behold a long history working with the United Nations. Since the early 1950s, the United Nations has worked with the respective governments of the four riparian countries on issues pertaining to land and water resource development. Partnerships developed between the countries as the Committee for Coordination of Investigations of the Lower Mekong Basin, or the "Mekong Committee", which operated under the guidance of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE), embarked on surveys of the Lower Mekong Basin. The surveys identified opportunities for comprehensive development of the Basin, including irrigation and hydropower. 8 1 9 6 0 s 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1966 Text describing Nam Ngum Development Fund Agreement, World Bank archives, 1966 , , 1966 Signing of Nam Ngum Development Fund Agreement, Washington DC, 1966 1990 2000 2010 2020 9 THE WORLD BANK : , . . 4 1966, 9 , , , , , , , . 80 , . 23,8 . , . , . Nam Ngum Hydroelectric Project: Sparking new potentials for Lao PDR Access to electricity represented a foundation for development not only in Lao PDR, but for the entire Lower Mekong Basin at this time in history. The construction of the Nam Ngum Hydroelectric Project in Lao PDR intended to supply a large part of the electricity produced to the domestic market, and would export the remainder of the generated power to Thailand. On May 4, 1966, representatives of nine countries � United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Japan, Lao PDR, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Thailand, with the World Bank, met to set up the Nam Ngum Development Fund, which was to be used to finance the first stage of the Nam Ngum Hydroelectric Project. The project, located approximately 80 kilometers from the capital Vientiane, was the first of its kind in Lao PDR. The project's donor countries pledged approximately $23.8 million in support. At the request of the Government of Lao PDR and bilateral donors, the World Bank agreed to act as the Administrator of the Nam Ngum Development Fund. As Administrator, the World Bank closely followed the project details and also stayed well informed of general developments in the country that could impact its progress. 10 1 9 6 0 s 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR 1990 2000 2010 2020 11 THE WORLD BANK 1960, : . . . . . , ; ; . . As Lao PDR made attempts to establish national unity in the late 1960s, financial support as well as technical assistance in specialized areas of expertise, such as engineering and financial analysis was required. During this time, the World Bank worked hand-in-hand with the Government of Lao PDR to address the new country's needs. It also participated in various international initiatives to increase and coordinate the flow of development aid. The majority of World Bank lending in the post-war era supported basic investments in electric power and transportation, with some support for agriculture as well. These basic investments assisted the Government of Lao PDR pave the path towards economic reconstruction. Together during the early years, Lao PDR and the World Bank focused on getting to know one another's situation, challenges and opportunities, gathering and reviewing information and plans, and identifying mutually agreeable opportunities for partnership. The early years established the foundation that Lao PDR and the World Bank would build upon in the near future. 12 1 9 6 0 s 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR 1990 2000 2010 2020 13 THE WORLD BANK 3 1970: S t r e n g t h e n i n g Wo r k i n g Relationships The 1970s: 1970, . 1970, . , . . . , , , . 1975, . By the 1970s, Lao PDR's untapped potential for power generation and water resources management began to materialize. In July 1970, the Mekong Committee published the region's first Indicative Basin Plan. The plan presented the first comprehensive study of the Mekong's potential for power generation, irrigation and flood control. This seminal document provided a framework for further investigation and planning of the Mekong Basin's water resources. Development of the Mekong's water resources would happen over many years and through the cooperative efforts of various organizations. In cooperation with other Mekong countries, the World Bank joined the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank in reviewing data, reports and development plans that would soon contribute to their long-term support strategy. In early-1975, an economic mission visited Lao PDR. The mission assessed post-conflict reconstruction and identified rural development as the country's primary need. Although rural conditions presented several development challenges, the mission also noted the country's potential for future hydropower development � particularly for export. Development opportunities were on Lao PDR's horizon. 14 1960 1 9 7 0 s 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1970 Rice plantation, Bolikhamsay Province, 1970s , , 1970 Fish farm, Vientiane Province, 1970s , . . 2 1975 ( ) 1990 2000 2010 2020 15 THE WORLD BANK , , 1970 Rice Plantation, Vientiane Province, 1970s On December 2, 1975, a National Congress of People's Representatives proclaimed the formation of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and the Government began the process of socialist transformation of society. Initially, efforts focused on establishing and consolidating administrative functions. By 1977, the Government focused its priorities on the difficult task of restructuring and developing the new economy. Food security was listed among the new country's top development constraints after independence. To assist the Government to alleviate this constraint and to boost food production, the World Bank supported the Agriculture Rehabilitation and Development Project (US$8.2 million), in late-1977. This project aimed to increase food production in the Vientiane Plain. Designed to aid 10,000 farming families, the project constructed simple irrigation facilities, established pig breeding farms, and provided equipment to two rice institutes which, in turn, expanded production of local rice varieties and trained farmers in cultivation techniques. UNDP added to this support by providing a complementary technical assistance grant (US$1.7 million). The success of the 1975 Agriculture Rehabilitation project led to a second project phase in 1979 that provided US$10.4 million in support. This project aimed to improve rice, feed grain and vegetable availability to farmers; to ease the constraints on the availability of technical services; and make agricultural advice more accessible to the population. More than 42,000 poor farming families directly benefited from this project throughout Vientiane Province. The project was generously co-financed by the IDAadministered European Economic Community Special Action Account (US$2.7 million) and the United Nations Development Program (US$1.3 million). . . 1977 . . , (8,2 ) 1977. . 10,000 . . ( 1,7 ). 1979 10 . , , , , . 42,000 . (EEC) (2,7 ) (1,3 ) IDA. 16 1960 1 9 7 0 s 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1977 Training on cultivation techniques, Vientiane Province, 1977 , , 1977 Livestock management training, Vientiane Province, 1977 1990 2000 2010 2020 17 THE WORLD BANK , , 1970 Peanut plantation, Champassak Province, 1970s , , 1970 Rice plantation, Vientiane Capital, 1970s 18 1950 1960 1 9 7 0 s 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1970 Local Market, Vientiane Province, 1970s , , 1970 Livestock management, Vientiane Province, 1970s 1990 2000 , , 1970 Rice plantation, Luang Prabang Province, 1970s 2010 2020 19 THE WORLD BANK 4 1980: A Period of Transformation The 1980s: 1980 . , . 1986, . , 1980. , , . , . 1980, 152,1 10 . 1970 9 . The 1980s represented a period of transformation for Lao PDR. At the start of the decade, the Government prioritized decentralizing their administration after years of a centralized political structure. In 1986, the Government introduced market-oriented economic reforms. Agriculture remained the country's main economic activity in the 1980s, while Lao PDR's economy struggled to recover from decades of conflict. Nevertheless, the country made progress on the gradual transition from a service-oriented economy, based heavily on aid receipts, towards an economy that better reflected the country's untapped natural resource growth potential. Meanwhile, the World Bank's support for projects in Lao PDR was growing rapidly. In the 1980s, the World Bank's assistance topped US$152.1 million and covered ten operations. This was 9 times more support than in the 1970s. 20 1960 1970 1 9 8 0 s Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1980 Village immunization, Champassak Province, 1980s , , 1980 Village primary school, Luang Namtha Province, 1980s 1990 2000 2010 2020 21 THE WORLD BANK 3 (13,4 ) . . 1983 (6,2 ) 6 60,000 . 1989 20,2 . 29,000 : . Assisting small-farm families The approval of the Third Agriculture Rehabilitation and Development Project (US$13.4 million) kick-started the decade for the World Bank in Lao PDR. The project continued efforts to reduce rural poverty by involving communities in increasing agricultural production. By 1983, the Agricultural Production Support Project (US$6.2 million) was put in place to finance 6 sub-projects aimed at increasing agricultural production that would directly benefit some 60,000 small-farm families. In 1989, additional support for the agriculture sector totaling US$20.2 million was granted to the Upland Agriculture Development Project. The project provided irrigation rehabilitation as well as technical assistance and training to help about 29,000 smallholder farmers in the Bolivian Plateau and in Vientiane Province with cultivation of upland crops (such as coffee) and valley-floor irrigated rice production. 22 1960 1970 1 9 8 0 s Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1970 Fish farm, Champasack Province 1970s , , 1980 Irrigation rehabilitation, Vientiane Province 1980s 1990 2000 2010 2020 23 THE WORLD BANK 15 1981. . : ; ; ; (EDL). 1987 . 25,8 . . Providing access to electricity By 1981, the US$15.0 million Nam Ngum Hydroelectric Project was approved. As the first IDA-supported power sector engagement in Lao PDR, the project supported efforts to: optimize output from the existing Nam Ngum hydropower generating station by installing additional capacity; explore the hydropower potential in Lao PDR for possible development in cooperation with Thailand; study the optimum strategy for extending power supply to provinces outside Vientiane Province; and strengthen the institutional capacity of Electricit� du Laos. In 1987, work in the energy and power sector expanded. The Southern Provinces Electrification Project, totaling US$25.8 million, marked the beginning of a long program of interventions on rural electrification. The project was designed to improve economic development and the quality of life for the people in targeted southern provinces by creating the needed infrastructure, and then supplying the areas with electricity. 24 1960 1970 1 9 8 0 s Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership THE WORLD BANK , , 1980 Rural electrification, Vientiane Province, 1980s , , 1980 Rural electrification, Savanakhet Province, 1980s 1990 2000 2010 25 THE WORLD BANK , . 4 : , , . 1986 14,1 . 1987, IDA (10 ). 13 3 . 1988, (10 ) , 1989 (3,5 ) , . Development across sectors In this decade, the World Bank began to think beyond a single sector approach and had a broader reach in geographical areas of impact. The support was provided in four new sector areas: telecommunications, transportation, industry, and education. In 1986, the US$14.1 million Telecommunications Rehabilitation and Technical Assistance Project was approved to address telecommunications system rehabilitation and management improvements. In 1987, the World Bank approved support for the Southern Transport Project (US$10.0 million). This project helped to strengthen institutional capacity to plan and execute road maintenance on a continuing basis and supported repairs and maintenance on an economically critical section of the northsouth corridor, Route 13, in three provinces. In 1988, the Industrial Credit Project (US$10.0 million) financed small and medium-sized rehabilitation and expansion projects, mainly in the light industry. And in 1989, the National Polytechnic Institute Project (US$3.5 million) helped to train engineers in the basic disciplines required to better equip the National Polytechnic Institute. 26 1960 1970 1 9 8 0 s Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1980 Satelite tower, Vientiane Capital, 1980s 1990 2000 2010 2020 27 THE WORLD BANK 1986 . . 1998, (40 ) , , , . Igniting economic transformation In 1986, the Government introduced the New Economic Mechanism to initiate the transition from a centrally planned to a market-oriented economy. Starting with a focus on improving public enterprise management, the reform process was widened over time to eventually address the entire economy. Its objectives focused on improving the utilization of natural resources and capital assets, while also addressing public enterprise management and expanding the role of the private sector. In 1989, a large Structural Adjustment Program (US$40.0 million), which initiated efforts that would continue well into the next decade, was established to support the government's major initiatives aimed at reinvigorating economic growth. The government's program included fiscal and financial sector reforms, improvements in public enterprise management, and measures to improve private sector participation. 28 1960 1970 1 9 8 0 s Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR 1990 2000 2010 2020 29 THE WORLD BANK Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years 26 , , 1990 Kouvieng Road, Vientiane Capital, 1990s 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 27 THE WORLD BANK 5 1990: Connecting Communities The 1990s 1990 . 152,1 , 1990 . 10 , 405,3 IDA 15. 2 48 . , , . , , . , . During the 1990s, the World Bank's support to Lao PDR continued to grow rapidly. While the previous decade provided US$152.1 million, the 1990s nearly tripled this. Within 10 years, the World Bank supported Lao PDR with US$405.3 million in IDA resources through 15 operations. The operations in this decade engaged a wider array of sectors than in the past and ranged in size from US$2.0 to US$48.0 million. Additionally, more projects focused on environmental and social aspects, emphasizing the need to work from a crosscutting approach. Development trends in this decade also transformed into broader, more comprehensive programs with clear strategic directions. With this said, short-term individual projects became a precedence of the past. 32 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 1990 Kouvieng Road, Vientiane Capital, 1990s 1 9 9 0 s 2000 2010 2020 33 THE WORLD BANK . 1990, . , . 1994. 9,5 50,000 . . , (8,7 ) . 1996, (20,7 ) 1 4 1 . . Making links between environmental and social sustainability Bordered along the Mekong River with abundant minerals and a vast array of biodiversity, Lao PDR is generously endowed with natural resources. By the 1990s, protecting these resources became an increasingly important aspect of sustainable development. Recognizing the country's potential and the eminent need to better manage and conserve its resources, the World Bank's support began to focus more on environmental and social sustainability. Improving rural access to water and sanitation topped priorities in 1994. Benefiting approximately 50,000 least advantaged people in one of the poorest northern provinces, the US$9.7 million Luang Namtha Provincial Development Project, provided improved access to markets and schools as well as better water quality and sanitation services. As the link between livelihoods and environmental sustainability became more apparent, the Forest Management and Conservation Project (US$8.7 million) was established to achieve the sustainable management and conservation of the country's forest resources. The project assisted the government with the implementation of a new resource management system that concentrated on underprivileged forest dwellers. In 1996, the Land Titling Project (US$20.7) initiated the process of registering more than a quarter of a million parcels of land, thereby improving land tenure security. This project raised the possibility of landholders selling their land-use rights, and improved their ability to use land as collateral. The decade concluded in 1999 with the approval of the District Upland Development Conservation Project (US$2.0 million). This project encouraged better protection and management of vital natural resources through the adoption of intensified agricultural practices by local communities in the upland areas. 34 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR (2 ) 1999. . , , 1990 Forest conservation program, Khammouane Province, 1990s , , 1980 Bridge construction, Champassak Province, 1980s 1 9 9 0 s 2000 2010 2020 35 THE WORLD BANK 1990, : . , . , 150 ; ; . , 266 . . , 1 45 . , 266 13 . . . 1994 2 (30 ) . Connecting people, building communities In Lao PDR in the 1990s, basic services such as roads and transportation lagged behind the region. Whereas the Mekong and other rivers acted as the country's highway system in the past, a growing economy required more access to roads and transportation. During this decade, the transportation sector received considerable funding, totaling US$150.0 million. This concentrated support upgraded key roads, expanded the road network and provided the basis for a solid system of maintenance planning and execution. At this point in recent history, a 266-kilometer journey could have taken days in Lao PDR, depending on weather conditions. Limited access to roads at the time meant limited access to markets for food and trade opportunities. To improve this situation, the First Highway Improvement Project provided funding totaling US$45.0 million to support the rehabilitation of the main north-south route from Nam Kading to Savannakhet. Upon its completion, the 266kilometer section of Route 13 provided communities with greatly improved access to the agriculturally endowed southern part of the country. Improved transportation only began with highway construction. Maintenance planning and building strong institutional capacities was also critical for an efficient and successful transportation system. In 1994, the Second Highway Improvement Project (US$30.0 million) continued to improve the efficiency of the country's highway network through specific road improvements. The project also aimed to strengthen institutional capacity to better plan, manage and maintain the national highway network. And, in 1997, the Third Highway Improvement Project (US$48.0 million) was approved to finance labor and equipment services to upgrade road surfaces and provide road maintenance. Technical assistance was also provided at the Ministerial level for project implementation and the management of road maintenance. Whereas access to roads was the first step towards connecting the country, basic infrastructure development was also greatly needed in rural areas to improve people's livelihoods. Benefiting an estimated 52,000 people in 125 villages, the Provincial Infrastructure Project (US$27.8) was approved in 1998. This project extended critical basic infrastructure to two remote Northern provinces. The project helped to improve living standards, socioeconomic potential and facilitated the gradual integration of these villagers into the national economy. 36 1960 1970 1980 IBRD 38915 100� 1A 102� 104� 106� MYANMAR CHINA VIETNAM Hanoi CHINA LAO PDR 22� CHINA Gnot-Ou 22� LAO PEOPLE'S DEM. REP. Vientiane Gulf of Tonkin Boun-Nua 19 Phongsali Boun-Tai VIETNAM THAILAND , . 1997, 3 (48 ) . . , . (27,8 ) 1998 52,000 125 . 2 . , . MYANMAR Sing Long 17 1465 17A PHONGSALI Samphan Mai Khoa 2E Shangyong 13N 1501 1B Bangkok Louang Namtha 3 Namo 13N HANOI Et Xiangkho Ngoy Viangkham 6B 6A CAMBODIA Phnom Penh 21 Andaman Sea La Nambak ng Meko BOKEO Houayxay 3 Meung LOUANG NAMTHA Viengphoukha Nale Muang Xai Xam-Nua HOUAPHAN Houamuang 6 Sopbao Gulf of Thailand Tonpheung OUDOMXAI 2W Beng Nge LOUANG PHABANG Pakxeng Pak-Ou 1C Viangxai Pha-Oudom Provincial Infrastructure Project Houn Pakbeng Hongsa Ngeun 4A Nale Khop Xianghon g kon Me Chomphet Viangthong Phonxai Xam-Tai 20� 4B Xiang-Ngeun Nan 4 Louang Phabang Phoukout Phokhoun Kasi 13N 7 XIANG Kham KHOANG Khoun 7 XAIGNABOURI Xaignabouri Nonghe Xiang Khoang Phaxa THAILAND 4 Phiang Phoun Mok-Mai Vangviang Met Fuang Xaisomboun 5 Thathom GULF OF 1D VIENTIANE Pone Hong 11 XAISOMBOUN Paksan Borikhan ng Thongmixai Paklay Me ko Hom Hinheup Longxan Keo-Oudom Viangkham Thourakhom Thaphabat 10 Sangthong Naxaythong Xaithani Oak-Ngum TONKIN BORIKHAMXAI Viangathong Pakkading 13S 8 Khamkeut Me 18� Boten Kenthao 4 18� ko Xanakham ng VIENTIANE Nong Khai PREFECTURE OF VIENTIANE MUN. First and Second Highway Improvement Project (IDA 1 and IDA 2) KHAMMOUAN Hinboun Gnommalat Nakay 12 1E Thakhek Mahaxai Bouarapha Xaibouathong 1F Nongbok Xebangfai LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC Atsaphon 9A Vilabouri Xepon TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE ONGOING OR COMPLETED WORLD BANK PROJECT NATIONAL ROAD NETWORK: PAVED 16� EARTH GRAVEL PLANNED BORDER CROSSINGS SELECTED TOWNS PROVINCE CAPITALS NATIONAL CAPITALS PROVINCE BOUNDARIES INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARIES Atsaphangthong 9B Outhoumphon Phalanxai 9 Savannakhet SAVANNAKHET Songkhon 1G Phin Nong 15 Xaiphouthong Samouay Third Highway Improvement Project (IDA 3) Lakhongpeng Thapangthong Toumtan 16� SARAVAN Vapi 15 1H Saravan Thateng Karum Khongxedon Laongam Xanasomboun Pakse Phonthong Champasak 14A1 20 XEKONG Xekong 1B Dakchung CHAMPASAK 16 Champasak Pakxong 16A 1I Sanxai Pathoumphon 18A Attapu Sanamxai Xaisettha 18B Soukhouma 0 50 100 150 Kilometers 14B 13S 14C 1J ATTAPU Phouvong Mounlapamok 0 25 50 75 100 Miles 14A Khong 14� This map was produced by the Map Design Unit of The World Bank. The boundaries, colors, denominations and any other information shown on this map do not imply, on the part of The World Bank Group, any judgment on the legal status of any territory, or any endorsement or 102� acceptance of such boundaries. 104� CAMBODIA 14� OCTOBER 2011 1 9 9 0 s 2000 2010 2020 37 THE WORLD BANK 1990, . , 80 . 2 (40 ) 1991 , , . . 3 (40 ) 1996 . . Maintaining momentum In the 1990s, the Government of Lao PDR focused on structural improvements such as these to move their economy forward at a steady pace. To support the Government's efforts, two structural adjustment credits provided a total of US$80.0 million to sustain the momentum of its reforms and to undertake the more difficult structural measures. A Second Structural Adjustment Program (US$40.0 million) in 1991 focused on efforts to privatize state enterprises, reform the civil service, improve revenue collection and expenditure management through the centralization of treasury operations at the national level and publication of the budget. The program also created an enabling legal and institutional environment for private sector activity that would greatly contribute to the growth of the sector in the near future. The Third Structural Adjustment Credit (US$40.0 million), approved in 1996, supported the government's efforts to achieve greater efficiency in private and public investment, underpinning economic growth. It also aimed to assist the Government in shifting its focus towards social issues and the alleviation of poverty by enhancing the efficiency of public resource management. 38 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR 2 1990, . (20052010) 2 (NT2) 1,070 (MW) 1990. , 1990 . , . 2005. 27 . NT2 2010. Initiating dialogue on Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project Throughout the 1990s, the World Bank worked side-byside with the Government of Lao PDR to find a balance between realizing economic potential and developing the country in a sustainable manner. A key pillar for the World Bank's Country Assistance Strategy for Lao PDR (2005-2010), the 1,070 MW Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project, began in the 1990s. Although the project would not fully materialize until a decade later, the Government initiated dialogue with the World Bank in the 1990s to address this mutually challenging and complex undertaking. Throughout the decade, dialogue on this project nurtured the country's relationship with the World Bank and provided the foundation for its development framework and program. Over a decade of cooperation resulted in the World Bank approved project in 2005. The project is jointly implemented by the Nam Theun 2 Power Company and the Government of Lao PDR and supported by financing from 27 parties, including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The Nam Theun 2 power station was formally inaugurated in December 2010. , , 1990 Village water pump, Khammoune Province 1990s 1 9 9 0 s 2000 2010 2020 39 THE WORLD BANK , . 1972 , . , . 28 1999. , . 100 . Establishing a local presence As the working relationship between Lao PDR and the World Bank grew across a full spectrum of sectors, there was a need for greater local support. Since 1972, the World Bank's Bangkok Office offered a range of experts based in the region. However as programs developed in Lao PDR, the time arrived for a local Resident Mission to be established in Vientiane. The World Bank inaugurated its Vientiane Office on April 28, 1999. Today, the office continues to expand to keep pace with the country's project work demands. With a staff of nearly 100 people, the World Bank Group office is well equipped to support the Government with requests for projects and advisory services. 40 1960 1970 1980 LAO PDR , 2000 World Bank Office in Vientiane Capital, 2000s 1 9 9 0 s 2000 2010 2020 41 THE WORLD BANK 6 2000 : Working Steady Towards Common Goals T h e 2 0 0 0 � p re s e n t : , 21 . , . ; , ; . , . . , 2000, . Building on the reforms achieved in the prior decades, the first decade of 21st century have featured an even stronger push towards achieving sustainable growth and attaining longterm development goals in Lao PDR. While the past few decades brought significant change, there has been notable consistency in the government's long-term vision for the country's development. The government has persistently made an effort to achieve its goals in poverty reduction; institutional capacity building for the sustainable management of natural resources; the strengthening of public financial management; and expanding opportunities for regional cooperation and foreign direct investment. At the same time, the World Bank shifted to an assistance approach that highlights the importance of country-driven strategies and implementation, providing closer engagement with a longerterm focus. Engaging in dialogue over time was accompanied by a steady building of mutual trust between Lao PDR and the World Bank. Together they converged approaches and mindsets in the 2000s, which further supported their working relationship. 42 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , . . . . , . Meanwhile, financial support to Lao PDR from the World Bank and other development partners robustly increased and positive experiences paved the way for new and greater achievements. This positive cycle provided increased incentives for the partners to genuinely understand each other's perspectives. Working steadily towards a common goal, their partnership flourished into a relationship characterized by mutual respect, responsibility and cooperation. , , 2000 Rice plantation, Sekong Province, 2000s 1990 2 0 0 0 s 2010 2020 43 THE WORLD BANK 1990 2. 2000, 2 . 2001, 2. . 2002, " 2 ". 2. , . . 19,3 IDA 2002. 15 2008 IDA, 25 2011 II. 23 , , . A window to the future The financial crisis of the late-1990s hampered national development. This included the construction of the Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric project. By the early 2000s, engagement with Nam Theun 2 revived. In 2001, the Government and the World Bank agreed on a Decision Framework for Nam Theun 2. The framework underscored the project's potential to help reduce poverty and improve environmental management through efficient and transparent revenue management arrangements. In July 2002, the Government of Lao PDR held a major symposium in Vientiane entitled, "Nam Theun 2: Window to the Future". This event provided an opportunity for a wide-range of international stakeholders to learn about the project's progress and to better understand Nam Theun 2's challenges and opportunities. Strengthening governance to reduce poverty In the early years of the decade, the Government sharpened its focus on poverty reduction. While a national poverty reduction strategy was being formulated, the Poverty Reduction Fund was established in 2002 with US$19.3 million IDA grant from the World Bank. An additional US$15.0 million was endorsed in 2008 and another US$25.0 million in 2011 for the Poverty Reduction Fund II. These funds target 23 poor districts through the development of public community infrastructure, improved access to services, and increased empowerment in decision-making processes. 44 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR 2, 1995 Nam Theun 2 Signing Ceremony, 1995 1990 2000 2010 2020 41 THE WORLD BANK 2004, IMF . . . , , . , (PRSO) . , , , , , . . 2005 2007. (2004) (2006-2011), 28 IDA. PRSO 4 7 60 20082011. . 46 In November 2004, the National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy was presented to the IMF and the World Bank as the country's first poverty reduction plan. The Strategy was developed with an unprecedented level of consultation and preparation, and stressed the Government's commitment to sound economic policies. These policies were combined with structural reforms to sustain the country's growth. The Strategy also reinforced that, in order to achieve improved social outcomes, sustained growth would need to be accompanied by strengthened public sector management and capacity development, as well as better management of natural resources and the environment. To assist the Government with further progress on poverty reduction as well as policy reforms, the World Bank developed a series of Poverty Reduction Support Operations (PRSO) to provide programs with budget assistance. These operations facilitate macroeconomic stability; improve public financial management and the environment for private sector development; strengthen service delivery; build capacities; and forge partnerships with the international financial community. Lao PDR was the first low-income country to initiate this type of budget support operation. The first three support operations started in 2005 and continued through 2007. The operations were based on the National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy (2004) and the National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2006-2010) and provided a total of US$28 million in IDA support. PRSO 4 through 7 provided funding totaling US$60.0 million between 2008 and 2011. Multi-donor trust funds were created to provide technical assistance for public expenditure management and trade related reforms. 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR , , 2000 Village in Nakai District, Khammoune Province 2000s , , 2000 Nam Theun River, Bolikhamsay Province 2000s 1990 2 0 0 0 s 2010 2020 47 THE WORLD BANK . . 2000 . , 2008 2009, 20 . , . , . 2004, (NTR). 10 . (WTO) . 2007 Protecting forests to protect people Lao PDR's forests provide multiple benefits for its people. For many, forests are a primary source of food security, for others, forests offer economic opportunity. The Government of Lao PDR's interest to promote the sustainable management of forest production grew in the 2000s, aiming to reduce poverty in a number of provinces. In two years, from 2008 to 2009, the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project supported the Government of Lao PDR with the implementation of forestry policy reform actions with grants totaling over US$20.0 million. Tapping opportunities through international cooperation Over the past decade, Lao PDR has made a regional presence and has significantly strengthened bilateral cooperation. Regional cooperation has shaped in many different ways for Lao PDR for example, in the case of Thailand; the two countries have made notable progress on discussions over sustainable hydropower development. In 2004, Lao PDR was granted normalized trade relations by the United States and hosted the 10th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane. The same year, the country initiated efforts to gain membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Lao PDR continues to work closely through bilateral negotiations with all interested WTO Members with the aim to achieve accession in the near future. Regional cooperation also developed between Cambodia and Lao PDR in 2007 through the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Power Trade Project. The project, totaling US$15.0 million, supports regional cooperation and integration in the power sector through the construction of power lines to export power from Lao PDR to Cambodia. The project is also building a transmission system that 48 1960 1970 1980 LAO PDR (GMS). 15 . , . . 1970. 2007, - 1 , , . . 2008 (6 ) 2008. , , , . 1990, , . 2000. 25 17 . links Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand. This will also help improve the supply of electricity to rural communities in Lao PDR's southern Saravan Province. The region's interest in Lao PDR's natural resources, especially in hydropower development, has soared since the 1970s. In 2007, the first Lao-Thai High-Level Forum on Sustainable Hydropower Development convened to explore how the two countries could strengthen their partnership to achieve greater economic, social environmental and financial benefits from hydropower development. The forum adopted a message that envisioned stakeholders working together collectively, to ensure the sustainable development of hydropower in Lao PDR. Regional integration was further in 2008 with the approval of the Customs and Trade Facilitation Project (US$6.0 million). The project has helped simplify customs procedures, eliminate duplication and redundancy, reduce transaction costs and time to clear goods, and increase transparency and accountability. In the 1990s, improved transportation proved to provide people with better access to the region, enabling trade and ultimately, cross-border relations. As livelihoods noticeably improved, the sector continued to receive support in the 2000s. For example, in 2001 the Road Maintenance Project received US$25.0 million to continue the sustainable efforts of maintaining road networks throughout all 17 provinces. By 2010, the US$27.8 million Road Sector Project was initiated to help to improve road services on two main national corridors, as well as on the provincial road networks. The project also rehabilitated roads damaged by Typhoon Ketsana, and established a contingency fund for quick disaster response in the road sector. The project not only finances physical works, but also provides technical assistance at the provincial and Ministerial levels for strategic sector management. 1990 2 0 0 0 s 2010 2020 49 THE WORLD BANK 2010, 27,8 , , . , . . 1995 16% , 71%. , 2010 IDA (20 ), IFC (15 ) . IDA IFC. . Achievements in rural electrification have been remarkable. While only 16% of households in Lao PDR had access to electricity in 1995, today 71% of households enjoy electricity. Building on this success, in 2010 the second phase of Rural Electrification Project began with support from IDA grant (US$ 20 million), IFC loan (US$ 15 million) and other partners. This was the first "World Bank Group" - jointly IDA and IFC - support to Lao PDR. The rural electrification project II aims to further expand electricity coverage to rural households and improve the financial performance of the Electricite de Laos. NNT NPA 50 1960 1970 1980 THE WORLD BANK , . . 2005, IDA 15 8 60 . , , , . 2011, 10 . , . , . 2006, . (40 ) H5N1. . Fostering improved health for a brighter future Over the past decade, improving the health of its population has been among the Government of Lao PDR's top priorities. Access to health care and disease preparedness has proven to improve livelihoods and further reduce poverty throughout the country. In 2005, the Health Services Improvement Project provided US$15.0 million in IDA assistance to the Government of Lao PDR to improve the health status of its population, particularly the poor and rural population in 8 provinces, covering 60 districts in the Central and Southern regions. The project's activities include constructing or rehabilitating health facilities, training health workers, financing health services, and strengthening the health management information system. In 2011 the project received an additional US10.0 million to continue its efforts. Mid-decade, emerging infectious diseases alarmed the region and threatened the health of many. To better protect its population, Lao PDR developed national plans to minimize these threats. In 2006, the World Bank actively assisted the Government with the implementation of its national plan to minimize the impacts of infectious diseases transmissible to humans. The Avian and Human Influenza Control and Preparedness Project (US$4.0 million) helped the government implement its national plan, by increasing community awareness and launching a compensation program to farmers for the loss of poultry as a result of culling against H5N1 infection. Disease preparedness has also increased, as a community feedback hotline call service was set up to encourage early reporting. The First and Second Education Development Projects helped improve quality in six provinces by developing a range of education improvement tools. Under these projects, 443 schools were built, approximately 4,000 teachers were trained, and more than two million textbooks were distributed. 52 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR 1 2 6 . , 443 , 4,000 , . . 65 2011. , , . , , , . 2000. , . : , , ; ; . The World Bank is working with the Ministry of Education of Lao PDR and other development partners to increase access to and quality of primary education for children in poor and remote areas of the country. The US$65 million Education for All - Fast Track Initiative Program was formally launched by the Ministry of Education of Lao PDR in 2011. The program supports the construction and renovation of schools, provide mobile teachers to remote areas, improve learning evnironment, and provide school meals. The Education for All - Fast Track Initiative program is considered to be a primary vehicle for accelerating progress toward quality, universal primary education, improved primary school access and equity, as well as better leaning outcomes and promotion of early childhood development. Forging Partnership for development effectiveness The partnership reached a different level in 2000s. Most of the programs, projects and analytical work are now jointly supported by other development partners. Examples include joint analytical work such as the Investment Climate Assessment, Diagnostic Trade Integration Study; enabling shared budget support through the Poverty Reduction Support Operation Series; mobilizing multi-donor trust funds in support of the coordinated programs in Public Financial Management and trade; and working closely with the Government and partners to deliver on the Vientiane Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Mapping out a new path for assistance By 2005, the partnership between the World Bank and the Government of Lao PDR reached a new level. A new Country Assistance Strategy was developed to support the National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy. The strategy reflected the strengthened dialogue and engagement between the World Bank and Lao PDR, catalyzed by the preparation of the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project and the Government's interest in regional integration. 1990 2 0 0 0 s 2010 2020 53 THE WORLD BANK 2005, . (CAS) . 2 . , , 2000 Mittaphab Hospital, Vientiane Capital, 2000s 54 1960 1970 1980 THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR 1990 2000 2010 2020 49 F , 2000 Nakai Dam wall, Bolikhamsay Province, 2000s THE WORLD BANK 7 : R e a c h i n g M i l e s t o n e s : 2 2 (NT2) 2005. 2 . . . 1,3 , , 1990 . 31 2005 3 2: 62 2; 91 MIGA 2; 10 . Nam Theun 2 Implementation Begins After more than a decade of preparation, the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project was ready for World Bank Board consideration in 2005. Many point to Nam Theun 2 as a transformational project for Lao PDR. It is also an important project for the World Bank, as it is their first large hydropower project supported in many years. A complex and challenging endeavor for all parties involved, it was a national priority for Lao PDR, and at a cost of US$1.3 billion, represented the largest foreign direct investment in the country. Nam Theun 2 is also one of the world's largest private sector cross-border hydropower projects and is one of the largest internationally financed independent power producers in Asia since the 1990s. On March 31, 2005 the Board approved several milestone projects related to the Nam Theun 2: approximately US$62.0 million was granted towards social and environmental safeguard projects; an additional US$91.0 million was granted from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency; and the first Poverty Reduction Support Credit received US$10.0 million. Nam Theun 2 is expected to generate US$2.0 billion in government revenue over the life of its 25-year concession period averaging about US$30.0 million annually over the first 10 years. After the first ten years until 2034, it is anticipated to earn an approximate US$110.0 million per year. The project represents one of the largest sources of foreign exchange income for Lao PDR. 58 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership LAO PDR 2 2 25 30 10 . 10 2034, 110 . . 2010, 2 5,6 10 2011. . , 2 ; 1,7 ; 1 . 2 . , . 2 . , 2 . , 2 . 2 . In 2010, revenues from Nam Theun 2 amounted to approximately US$5.6 million and are projected to be over US$10.0 million for 2011. These revenues are already making notable contributions to poverty reduction and environmental management efforts. So far, about US$2.0 million has been channeled into spending on education in poor districts; US$1.7 million has been spent on rural roads; and US$1.0 million has been utilized in public health projects. The remainders of the funds are providing rural areas with electricity and environmental protection. Nam Theun 2 represented the first time a truly diverse set of large investors from around the world participated in a project in Lao PDR. It provided an opportunity for Lao PDR to improve international perceptions and confidence, and demonstrate how socially and environmentally sustainable hydropower can help deliver real benefits to fund poverty reduction. The Government of Lao PDR has exhibited how the lessons learned and experience gained from a complex project like Nam Theun 2 can be applied to improve future undertakings. For the World Bank, Nam Theun 2 was a unique opportunity to provide Lao PDR with a comprehensive, multi-year support plan for its development agenda. On the international stage, Nam Theun 2 has demonstrated the opportunities Lao PDR offers for foreign direct investment and has boosted engagement and cooperation among development partners. Nam Theun 2 also enhanced Lao PDR's bilateral relations with Thailand, particularly regarding power trade. 1990 2000 2 0 1 0 s 2020 59 THE WORLD BANK 2 , 2 . 2005, 4 . 2. 5 , 3 . 2 , . (9 ) 2008, 2. , 1 (10 ) , 2010 2 (20 ). . , 2. , , (8 ) . Reaching beyond Nam Theun 2 During this decade, Nam Theun 2 was placed within the bigger development picture in Lao PDR to mitigate the project's impacts. Understanding the bigger picture started with supporting the impacted environment and the people depending on it. In 2005, the Lao Environment and Social Project approved US$4.0 million worth of support to strengthen the management of environmental and social issues associated with the sustainable use of natural resources. Special focus was given to capacity building and improving policies related to Nam Theun 2. After 5 years of successful operation, the project was provided with an additional US$3.0 million in 2010. Once the project was established, the Government and the World Bank responded to the growing needs of impacted rural communities in Khammouane Province, where the project is located. In 2008, the Khammouane Development Project (US$9.0 million) enhanced the delivery of services and infrastructure, including irrigation development, and offered opportunities for villages and communities in, or near, the Nam Theun 2 project area. The following year, Phase I of the Rural Electrification Project (US$10.0 million) was approved, and in 2010, the project continued into Phase II (US$20.0 million). The project works to expand access to electricity in rural areas through off-grid renewable resources and grid connections. It also aims to strengthen the capacity of Electricit� du Laos, a key counterpart for the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric project. To secure sustainable futures for communities employed by the hydropower and mining sector and to improve Government oversight, the Hydro Mining Technical Assistance Project (US$8.0 million) was established to boost human resources capacity. 60 1960 1970 1980 THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR , , , 2000 Ressettlement village, Nakai Distrcit, Khammoune Province, 2000s 1990 2000 2010 2020 53 THE WORLD BANK 8 2020 Looking Ahead to 2020 , . . . , , . By the latter part of the decade, tangible results had been achieved in multiple areas. To begin, the investment climate, along with greater regional and global trade integration, had significantly improved. Lao PDR also greatly benefited from new enterprise and customs laws. Public resource management was stronger and more transparent. The people of Lao PDR enjoyed better basic service delivery, including access to electricity in rural areas, improvements in education and health, and improved road conditions. 62 1960 1970 1980 THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR , , 2000 Village in Nakai District, Khammoune Province, 2000s 1990 2000 2010 2020 55 THE WORLD BANK 2020 - 5 7 (2011-2015) . . 5 , , , , 2015. , 5 . - 5 7. , ; ; ; . , , . , . Looking ahead to 2020, the 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2011-2015) aims to guide the implementation of the country's development strategy. The strategy presents a plan to transform the country into a competitive industrial society, while creating opportunities that strengthen regional and international cooperation. This five-year participatory plan is consistent with the country's long-term national development policy and goals, which call for the achievement of robust economic growth, poverty reduction, construction of basic infrastructure to support industrialization and modernization, and reaching the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Formulating a new partnership strategy Recognizing the progress that has been made, and the partnerships that have forged over the past decades, the World Bank is developing its next five-year Country Partnership Strategy for Lao PDR. The strategy, together with the assistance from other donors, will support priority areas that the World Bank can offer strategic support as highlighted in the Government of Lao PDR's 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan. The upcoming Country Partnership Strategy will focus on improving competitiveness and connectivity; promoting sustainable natural resource management; ensuring inclusive development, and strengthening strong public sector management. As in the past decade, the World Bank Group aims to offer Lao PDR not only financial resources, but also, perhaps most importanly, its policy advice, analytical work, and convening power in the coming decades. TheWorld Bank is committed to work together with development partners, private sector and civil society to support Government of Lao PDR to achieve its goals and enable Lao people to realize their potential. 64 1960 1970 1980 THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR , , 2000 Lane Xang Avenue, Vientiane Capital, 2000s 1990 2000 2010 2020 57 THE WORLD BANK 9 50 Celebrating the Achievements of the P a s t 5 0 Ye a r s 50 , . . , 1 1977-2011 , , , , , . Looking back over the past 50 years, the vibrant partnership that has developed between the Government of Lao PDR and the World Bank has resulted in truly remarkable accomplishments. The country has experienced a substantial transformation, particularly over the past decade. Engagement with the international community, including development partners, has strengthened and Lao PDR has successfully integrated into the regional economy. To assist Lao PDR with its development process and stimulate the country's economy, the World Bank has contributed over US$1.0 billion in grants and interest-free credits between 1977 and 2011. Working with the World Bank through dialogue, partnership and support, Lao PDR has made achievements in many areas including structural reforms, natural resource and environmental management, infrastructure development, energy, education, and health. Solid economic growth has been sustained since 2001 supporting structural reforms in trade, private sector development and public financial management, poverty reduction, rural access to electricity, and greater primary school enrollment. 66 1960 1970 1980 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership . 50 2020 . The future agenda for Lao PDR is as plentiful as the opportunities for continued partnership. Congratulations on the achievements of the first 50 years of membership, and may the years ahead bring continued partnership and progress to achieve the 2020 development goals and beyond. , , 2000 That Luang Festival, Vientiane Capital, 2000s 1990 2000 2020 59 Photo by Xaisongkham Induangchanthy : 50 Lao PDR and the World Bank: Celebrating 50 Years of Partnership THE WORLD BANK LAO PDR