From Left: Robert Sargin, International Law Institute;  Thavichan Thiengthepvongsa, Ministry of Planning and 
Investment; Phongsavanh Phomkong, IFC’s Head of Office in Laos; Vinita Sinha, Assistant General Counsel, Asia (IFC) 


The International Law Institute [ILI] is honored to partner again with the Legal Department of the International Finance Corporation [IFC] (member of the World Bank Group) to develop and delivered a joint “Certificate Program for Legal Skills in Private Sector Financing.”

This is the fourth such program conducted. Previous programs were conducted in Sri Lanka, Northeast Africa [Ethiopia Regional], and Southeast Africa [Kenya Regional].

Our recent program was conducted, in Vientiane, Lao PDR from April 24 – 27, 2023. The program was co-hosted and held in close cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in Lao PDR.

The “Certificate Program for Legal Skills in Private Sector Financing”, was designed by the IFC Legal Department to create a program to strengthen practical legal and procedural skills of both public and private sector stakeholders to advance private sector investments in emerging economies to achieve national infrastructure development and sustainability goals. It is important to all nations, in particular developing nations, to offset national investments with private investments from domestic, international, or multilateral sources in infrastructure development. And to do so upon a sound legal foundation.

IFC2     IFC3
Lulu Baclagon, Sr. Investment Officer, PPP Advisory IFC   James Harris, Parnter, Pinsent Masons 

Curriculum focused on established international frameworks for private sector financing, international best practices, public-private partnerships, diversification of financing modes, and climate and sustainable development in private infrastructure projects objectives.

This is the first legal skills program conducted by the IFC in Lao PDR and precedes the advancement of new PPP laws in the country.

The program was introduced by Phongsavanh Phomkong IFC’s Head of Office in Laos; Ms Thavichan Thiengthepvongsa, Deputy Director of Promotion Investment, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Lao PDR; Ms Vinita Sinha, Assistant General Counsel, Asia (IFC); and Robert Sargin, Director, International Law Institute.


"Its first time in Southeast Asia, the IFC Certificate Program on the Legal Framework of Private Sector Financing is an internationally recognized initiative developed in 2017 for IFC investee countries to boost the legal capacity of government officials and legal professionals,” said IFC’s Head of Office in Laos Phongsavanh Phomkong.


“Drawing on IFC's global role and deep history in private sector financing, this program has been specifically tailored to help meet the Lao PDR's pressing infrastructure development needs and its climate goals,” said Ms Vinita Sinha, Assistant General Counsel, Asia (IFC)

  “With momentum to unlock investment through PPP projects set to accelerate with the PPP Decree to become law by the end of 2024, the Certificate Program will help fill knowledge gaps on international good practices in PPP legal framework and skills and build institutional capacity to create a strong PPP legal framework as well as facilitate and accelerate PPP transactions and projects in the Lao PDR,” said Ms Thavichan Thiengthepvongsa, Deputy Director of Promotion Investment, Ministry of Planning and Investment. 


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 Maurice Rawlins, Senior Environmental Specialist
and Environmental Coordinator, World Bank, Lao PDR
  Jason Paiment, Sr. Social Development Sepcialist, IFC

Contributing expertise to this program were IFC global subject matter experts led by Turgut Cankorel, IFC Senior Counsel, and Claire Kilvert, IFC Legal Analyst; the international law firms of Pinsent Masons led by James Harris, Partner [Singapore office]; Norton Rose Fulbright, led by Nick Merritt, Partner [Singapore Office]; DFDL led by Kristy Newby, Partner [Vientiane, Lao PDR office]; and the World Bank led by Maurice Rawlins, Senior Environmental Specialist and Environmental Coordinator [Lao PDR].

It is anticipated that this training will provide a broad base of understanding and inter government cooperation in strengthening cultivation as well as oversight of private investments in project development throughout the country.


Nick Merritt, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright  Turgut Cankorel, Senior Counsel, IFC



The focus on private investment investments into Laos is an all of government commitment. Representatives from Ministry of Planning and Investment; Investment Promotion Department (IPD); Department of Planning (MPI); Center for Development Policy Research (MPI) ; Department of Planning and Investment (Vientiane Capital); National Assembly of The Lao PDR; Law Committee; Economics, Technology and Environment Committee; Planning, Finance and Audit Committee; Prime Minister's Office; Department of Secretariat; Department of Research and Synthesis; Ministry of Public Work & Transportation; Permanent Secretary Office; Department of Planning and Finance; Department of Transport; Department of Roads; Department of Water Supply; Department of Housing and Urban Planning ; Department of Railway; Department of Civil Aviation; Ministry of Education and Sport; Department of Planning; Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism; Department of Planning and International Cooperation ; Ministry of Health ; Department of Planning and Cooperation; Ministry of Finance; Budget Department; National Treasury; External Finance and Dept Management Department; Tax Department and Custom Department; SOE Management, Development and Insurant Department; Ministry of Industry and Commerce; Department of Planning and Cooperation; Ministry of Technology and Communications; Department of Planning and Finance ; Ministry of Energy and Mines; Department of Energy Business; Department of Energy Policy and Planning; Department of Planning and Cooperation; Bank of Laos; Monetary Policy Department; Department of Planning and Finance; Ministry of Justice; Department of Legislation; and private sector law firms were all invited as participants.

IFC 12 

Lao PDR is committed to the continual development of its economy, advancement of national employment and inclusion objectives, expansion of infrastructure development, ensuring that Lao PDR’s Nationally Determined Contributions of environmental and sustainability objectives under the Paris Agreement are met, and doing so while controlling the integrity of all governing systems.  Development of robust private sector partnerships are an important component to meeting and advancing these goals.



LNTV English News:                 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iP4e0a1AFA
IFC Asia Pacific LinkedIn:         https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ifc-asiapacific_public-private-partnerships-can-help-realize-activity-7056899806522208257
Lao News Agency:                    https://kpl.gov.la/En/detail.aspx?id=72612
Brunei Direct News:                  https://brudirect.com/news.php?id=168042
Lao Vietnamese Magazine:      https://tapchilaoviet.org/tin-ngay/ifc-tap-huan-cho-lao-ve-ky-nang-phap-ly-trong-dau-tu-57735.html
World Bank:                              https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2023/01/24/world-bank-group-adopts-new-country-partnership-framework-
Pinsent Masons LinkedIn:        https://www.linkedin.com/posts/james-h-6a7136142_projectfinance-ppp-pinsentmasons-activity-7056475285180846080-Enhq