Chairman of the Board
Christopher, minerals financier & economist, ran business development for natural resources for the IFC (International Finance Corporation) out of London office from 2006-2010, IFC is private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and is a major private sector investor in mining in emerging markets. Earlier he led IFC mining transactions in Africa, Russia, Central Asia and and Latin America. Prior, he advised African governments in natural resource policy and, negotiations in Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and Swaziland. From 2010—2017 he was on the board of and latterly Non Executive Chairman of Triple Plate Junction, now Tethyan Resources, which was listed on AIM in London.
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Lao PDR is one of the fastest growing economies in East Asia and the Pacific. It has improved access to electricity, schools, roads, and has become an important energy exporter.
GDP growth averaged 7.7% over the last decade, with income per capita reaching $2,577 in 2018. Economic growth is expected to remain robust in 2018, at 6.5%, with growth expected to pick up in 2019-2020.
Business climate is improving: companies now see growing opportunities from closer regional integration, and reforms to improve the business environment - It transpires in a steep decrease of the political risk in Laos.
The hydropower sector displays good success stories, as well as the few modern mines that are out there. Government needs now new revenues from mining as existing cash generating mines will downscale or close within the next three years.
In the Doing Business 2019 Report, Laos ranks better or similar to other jurisdictions when comparing with metals-rich countries in Africa and Asia.
In contrast, despite higher metal prices, the performance of the mining sector remains poorly developed. It boils down to conducting proper exploration and developing modern efficient mines.
Laos is now positioned for a new wave of mineral discovery and development. The first movers on this wave will have the best opportunity to capitalise on the wealth that will be created.