About the Speaker
Professor Koichi Fujita, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University; and Convener, National Institutes for Humanities project on “South Asian Area Studies”
About the Discussant
Professor Hans Dieter Seibel, Professor Emeritus, Cologne University
About the Webinar
Since the late 1990s village-level savings groups (SGs) were organized in Laos by a joint venture of NGOs (from Thailand) and Lao Women’s Union, starting from villages in Vientiane Municipality and expanded to more remote rural areas. The Agricultural Promotion Bank (APB), established in 1993, has a nation-wide branch network but a limited capacity to deliver credit to farmers. Given the still largely subsistence-oriented but rapidly transforming to market-based economy in rural Laos, the presentation reports the current status and structure of rural financial market, which is comprised of informal, formal (mainly APB), and the newly emerged SGs, based on intensive fieldwork conducted in several villages in Vientiane Municipality and Luang Prabang Province.