President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao has reaffirmed the bank’s support for the sustainable development of Laos in the interest of the Lao people.

Speaking at a press conference in Vientiane on March 12 as part of his first visit to the Southeast Asian country, he lauded the strong growth trends of the Lao economy.

Along with a surge in such sectors as tourism and construction, increasing personal consumption has also spurred the country’s economic development, he said.

Naoko asserted that intensifying efforts to diversify the economy and improve macro-economic management will help the country maximise its potential.

He predicted that the Lao economy will maintain 7 percent growth in 2015 and 7.2 percent in 2016 with mining and hydropower as key driving forces contributing about 18 percent to the country’s GDP.

However, he said, Laos should focus greater attention to stabilising its macro-economy to address low foreign currency reserve and high budget deficits.

He pledged that ADB will continue aiding efforts to maintain strong and sustainable growth of Laos , one of the bank’s founding members.

From 2015-16, the bank plans to provide Laos with 116.6 million USD to improve its education, healthcare and transportation system as well as developing its economic corridors.

Since Laos joined the ADB in 1966, the country has received over 2.4 billion USD in assistance from the bank.-VNA