Lao Development Bank (LDB) and blockchain-powered fintech Everex have signed an MOU, pledged to implement blockchain technology for cross border payments and trade finance.

“Blockchain technologies enable banks to transact faster and cheaper. LDB’s mission is to contribute to Lao’s financial sector and by utilising this technology so we can achieve progress for Laos, the banking sector, and for Lao people,” said Phoutsala Omdalah, Deputy Managing Director of LDB.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by senior executives of LDB and Lattana Keosihavong, who’s responsible for Laos at Everex.

“As a Laotian, it’s a proud moment to see that there’s now blockchain know-how in Laos through Everex’s footprint,” Keosihavong said.

Payment digitisation is a big part of many ASEAN countries’ 4.0 digital strategy, especially in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Laos, often under the radar, has started to catch up with its neighboring countries.

Tim Scheffmann, Regional Managing Director of Everex explained that this technology can have a great impact on trade finance with Laos’ neighboring countries.

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“Due to its strategic position, Laos is well suited for digital border trade transactions in combination with migrant workers’ remittances and financial inclusion,” he noted. “Blockchain technology can reduce transaction costs, increase security and transaction speed. This will increase the nation’s GDP and trade volumes.”

The next step of the initiative will be defining the project governance as well as the goals for the discovery phase.