Mr Nicola Pontara, newly appointed World Bank Country Manager for the Lao PDR, presented his letter of appointment to Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongphane Savanphet on Jul 23, 2018.
Mr. Pontara has been tasked with continuing the strong relationship on sustainable and inclusive development between the World Bank and the Lao PDR.
I am grateful for the opportunity to continue our exciting work in the Lao PDR as we strive to support the country to reduce poverty and increase shared prosperity, through green and efficient growth, said Mr. Pontara. The Lao PDR has made great gains over the past decade. Looking forward, it is important that all citizens can continue to reap the gains of development, while also protecting the environment.
Mr. Pontara, an Italian national, most recently served for three years as Country Manager for Bolivia. He joined the World Bank in 2000 as a Young Professional, and has since held various positions as Economist, Sector Leader, and Programme Leader working on poverty reduction and social protection. Before Latin America, he also worked in Africa, and in the Middle East.
Mr. Pontara holds a PhD in Economics from the University of London. Mr. Pontara succeeds Mr. Jean-Christophe Carret, who managed the Lao PDR programme from July 2017 to March 2018, and subsequently moved to become Country Director in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The World Bank is supporting 17 active projects in the Lao PDR, with current commitments of over US$450 million. The Lao PDR Country Partnership Framework includes programmes and projects that support inclusive growth, investing in people, protecting the environment, and strengthening institutions.
The country recently agreed on two new projects, the Agriculture Competitiveness Project, and the National Road 13 Improvement and Maintenance Project. The World Bank also supports knowledge and analytical work in the Lao PDR in order to inform development policy, including the annual Lao Economic Monitor report.
Source: Lao News Agency