Improving Quality Investment for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Lao PDR


The Saravan PEI team in a women's group discussion. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Silvia Jundt


What is this project about?

The Improving Quality Investment for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Lao PDR will build on the Lao PDR Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), which was designed in 2009 to support the central, provincial and district authorities in the effective promotion, regulation and enforcement of foreign, domestic and public investments. Main target areas include governance of natural resources (SDG 15), poverty reduction (SDG 1), enhancing development of human capital (SDG 8), minimising impact on the environment (SDG 15), adapting to climate change (SDG13), promoting clean energy investment (SDG7), supporting a diversified economy and providing a fair distribution of benefits to the population (SDG 5), and promoting partnership through knowledge exchange (SDG17).

The PEI programme has transformed into what the government now calls the “PEI approach” that addresses poverty reduction and environmental protection by supporting the Government’s national socio-economic planning and strategy formulation processes. The programme also focused on building investment regulatory tools and the knowledge to assess, measure and enforce financial, social and environmental obligations of developers. Another aspect includes strengthening the ability of Lao PDR’s National Assembly to deliver their constitutional oversight role on investment quality.

The current project will build on the package of tools already established by the PEI Programme while further expanding the PEI’s approach and tools to other important institutions that play a role in investment regulatory compliance.

The project will help the government to address and remove investment regulatory and business barriers that currently hinder the development of a healthy, vibrant and competitive business environment, while regulating compliance and obligation of investment projects to create more jobs for local people and building the skills of national staff.

The project will focus piloting efforts in the original six PEI provinces - Phongsaly, Oudomxay, Savannakhet, Saravan, Vientiane and Houaphan. However, other more advanced PEI Phase II supported tools will be scaled nationally during the implementation of this project.

Objectives and Outcomes

  • To strengthen the government’s regulatory capacity to coordinate and promote higher quality investment, improving the business environment, transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of investment management in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Lao PDR.
  • Promotion and monitoring of quality and responsible investment planning for sustainable development
  • Strengthened assessments, regulations, approvals and inspections for investment promotion.

Project Summary:

  • Duration: 18 months
  • Geographic coverage: Lao PDR
  • National Designated Authority: Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Focus area: Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Implementing partner: UNDP

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