Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) has witnessed significant growth in the financial sector with government initiatives allowing for growth in the micro-finance sector and an increased foreign bank presence. The challenge, as with most developing economies, for policy-makers and the private sector, is to spread the reach of socioeconomic benefits that come with economic expansion.
The Government of Lao PDR recognises the role played by the financial sector in facilitating economic growth through enhanced access to financial services. In order to develop policies that will generate sustainable and inclusive growth and development, the Government of Laos through the Bank of Lao PDR nationally implemented a UNCDF programme called the ‘Making access to finance more inclusive for poor people’ (MAFIPP). This programme will contribute to improved and equitable access to land, markets, social and economic services, as well as progression to an enabled environment for growth with equity. It will specifically increase access to financial services by low-income households and micro-entrepreneurs on a sustainable basis.