Completion Report: FinPower Microfinance Development Forum Dialogue in Lao PDR: National Rural Finance Policy
This completion report presents findings from the Microfinance Development Forum held in Lao PDR in 2010. It discusses the Lao PDR rural financial landscape, the microfinance environment and regulatory framework of Lao PDR, the experiences of Krung Thai Bank and the Philippine microfinance policy environment.
The Microfinance Development Forum was part of the APRACA FinPower Program that aimed to accelerate the financial empowerment of poor rural communities in Asia and the Pacific through rural finance innovations. The forum aimed to assist key Lao PDR stakeholders in their formulation of a plan of action towards the development of strong rural financial markets. Findings highlight the need to:
- Deliver appropriate and relevant savings products to present and prospective microfinance clients;
- Undertake research on market led financial products, specifically savings products;
- Strengthen the legal and regulatory environment for rural credit and microfinance.
The report recommends that Bank of Lao PDR should strengthen its regulatory and supervisory approaches in dealing with banks doing microfinance and rural credit programs. Government should work towards building the capacity of clients through financial education and literacy, in partnership with donors and rural financial institutions.