ADB, USAID Partner to Support SMEs in Laos

22/05/2024 20:17
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KPL (KPL)The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) jointly announced the launch of ADB Frontier's inaugural Seed Fund. The fund will provide catalytic funding and technical support to growing, technology-enabled small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Lao PDR and Cambodia, with a strong focus on economic inclusivity and climate action.

(KPL)The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) jointly announced the launch of ADB Frontier's inaugural Seed Fund. The fund will provide catalytic funding and technical support to growing, technology-enabled small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Lao PDR and Cambodia, with a strong focus on economic inclusivity and climate action.

USAID contributed $3 million to the fund, which has also received support from the Republic of Korean's Ministry of Economy and Finance and the ADB.

"ADB Frontier is a visionary development initiative that invests in growing, technology-enabled gazelle' SME companies and gives them the capital and tools they need to build and transform local industries in the Lao PDR." said Sonomi Tanaka, ADB Country Director to the Lao PDR.

"USAID is proud to partner with ADB and the Republic of Korea in the Frontier Seed Fund. The contribution uniquely bolsters USAID's support to the Lao PDR's National Socio-Economic Development Plan in the areas of SME development and green growth. It fills an important gap between USAID's technical assistance to the private sector and sustainable commercial financing, which is critical for the Lao PDR to successfully recover from the COVID economic downturn," said USAID Laos Deputy Country Representative Cullen Hughes.

The launch event took place at the offices of Loca, the country's leader in e-mobility and digital payments. Loca exemplifies the kind of company that the ADB Frontier Seed Fund aims to support.

The launch event announced two additional initial ADB Frontier beneficiaries: The Green and Slow Forest. The Green is modernizing chicken egg production in the Lao PDR through technology and digitization, emphasizing the enhancement of livelihoods of local farmers while addressing climate change. Slow Forest is targeting net zero coffee production by 2030 while championing forest biodiversity and helping farmers achieve higher and more stable incomes.

The Asian Development Bank is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members49 from the region.

USAID partners with Laos to improve the climate for investment and trade, enhance the competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, strengthen governance and the rule of law, improve energy sector growth and climate resilience, and advance health and education outcomes for Lao people.

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