Australia to Further Support for SMEs with over US$6 mln | Lao Tribune

Australia to Further Support for SMEs with over US$6 mln

The Australian Government is providing over US$6 million of financial support to the Bank of Lao PDR and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to expand microfinance services for over 150,000 small and medium enterprises across the country.

The provision is to give an opportunity to develop thousands of private businesses in rural communities.

Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the Lao economy. They account for 97% of all companies in Laos and provide almost 2/3 of all jobs.

The UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital.

In 2013, the Government of Australia committed US$6.15 million to support the UNCDF-UNDP Joint Programme “Making Access to Finance More Inclusive for Poor People” (MAFIPP) in Laos.

The new MAFIPP programme, supported the Bank of Lao PDR to improve the policy and regulatory environment for microfinance, promotes accountability and transparency of financial services, and encourages financial service providers to be more responsive to the needs of poor households and micro-entrepreneurs.

Source: Lao News Agency