Opportunities in Agriculture: Lao, Indian Buyers Sellers Meet Virtually

18/08/2021 11:02
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KPL (KPL) The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Government of the Lao PDR; Embassy of the Lao PDR in India; and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), in cooperation with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA); and Embassy of India in Vientiane, organized a Virtual Buyer Seller Meet (VBSM) on 11th August 2021 to explore opportunities in agriculture in Laos and India.

(KPL) The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Government of the Lao PDR; Embassy of the Lao PDR in India; and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), in cooperation with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA); and Embassy of India in Vientiane, organized a Virtual Buyer Seller Meet (VBSM) on 11th August 2021 to explore opportunities in agriculture in Laos and India.

The virtual meeting was well attended by more than 130 participants, including 75 companies from the Lao PDR and India involved in agriculture trade and related activities.

Ambassador of India to the Lao PDR Dinkar Asthana delivered the inaugural address. He stressed on the need of a mutually beneficial trade and investment engagement in agriculture sector between businesses in India and the Lao DPR with added focus on quality. Considering the comparative advantage and expertise of India in areas like buffalo meat, rice, spices, green cardamom, cashew nuts, organic farming, etc., he observed that cooperation in these should bring benefits to both the countries.

In his special address, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Phet Phomphiphak highlighted the importance of agriculture to the Lao economy, as it contributes about 16% of GDP, 50% of export earnings and 70% of country’s workforce engaged in agriculture sector.

Referring to Agriculture Development Strategy up to 2025 and its vision for 2030, the Lao PDR aims to migrate subsistence farmers to commercial production, transforming the sector into a main driving engine of national growth and development.

The Minister also highlighted the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the agricultural value chain development. 

Ambassador of the Lao PDR in India Bounneme Chouanghom in his address reiterated India’s assistance and support to several agriculture projects, especially for the development of irrigation systems.

He requested that the businesses from the two sides to keep connecting and consulting with each other to find new ways and means to make use of the opportunities in agriculture sector for the benefit of both the countries.

Vice President of LNCCI Xaybandith Rasphone stressed that the Lao PDR has a strategic location to connect countries in the Mekong sub-region and ASEAN countries and expressed hope that continued cooperation between the Lao PDR and India businesses will promote trade in the agriculture sector.

At the end, Chairman of APEDA, Dr M. Angamuthu thanked the two embassies and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for providing this opportunity.

He expressed hope that these initiatives will be helpful to promote win-win cooperation for the farmers and traders of the two countries.

During the virtual meeting, an e-Catalogue prepared by the APEDA was also released. The catalogue has contact details of companies from the Lao PDR and India in the agriculture sector.

The second part of the event was a virtual buyer-seller meet (VBSM) session where businessmen and associations from various sub-sectors of agriculture, e.g. rice, fruits & vegetables, meat & livestock, food processing, and organic farming & products, highlighted potential opportunities and discussed possibilities of cooperation.

Notable speakers representing the Lao side in the VBSM were Member of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR Thongsavanh Meeboun, DDG of Department of Liverstock and Fisheries Sithong Phiphakhavong, MAF, AIDC President Pheutsapha Phoummasak, and agriculture expert Kulwant Singh.

KPL

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