ARISE Plus Concludes with Remarkable Achievements, Bolstering Laos’ Economic Growth

08/12/2023 08:51
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ຂປລ (KPL)The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have successfully concluded the European Union-funded ASEAN Regional Integration Support (ARISE) Plus – Laos project in Vientiane on December 7.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Manothong Vongsay

(KPL)The Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have successfully concluded the European Union-funded ASEAN Regional Integration Support (ARISE) Plus – Laos project in Vientiane on December 7.

The project aimed to promote inclusive economic growth, increase climate change resilience, and job creation in the Lao PDR through EU funding.

ARISE Plus Lao PDR had three main objectives enhancing regional economic integration, increasing awareness on trade preferences, and strengthening support services for smallholders and micro businesses.

Despite challenges posed by COVID-19 and macroeconomic instability, in its five years of implementation, the project achieved remarkable results. These included improved knowledge by public and private sector stakeholders on a wide range of subjects such as organic coffee farming, quality management and sustainable sourcing in the wood-processing sector.

 The project also published two Export Roadmaps for the two sectors, giving detailed insights into the global and national contexts of the sectors, analyzing challenges, and laying out a detailed plan of action for export competitiveness.

 Ambassador of the European Union to Laos, Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė

In addition, ten quality champions graduated from the project to assess, coach and guide Lao companies in improving product quality. A Quality Platform was launched in the Lao PDR as a one-stop shop to find export market quality requirements, connect to institutional and individual expertise and services, and learn from best practices.

The project conducted an in-depth gap analysis on the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), published a handbook on the ATIGA notification process, six Everything But Arms (EBA) business guides, four guides on of e-commerce and a handbook on the WTO ePing notification system.

A study was conducted on the implications of the LDC graduation, which found that the Lao PDR should harness the power of trade promotion to avoid losing a potential 7.3% in exports after graduation.

“The partnership that the MOIC has had with the EU and ITC spans over the last 15 years. These efforts are highly relevant to our national strategy of diversifying the economy, rebuilding from COVID-19, and graduating from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2026, through accelerating trade integration, eliminating poverty and increasing shared prosperity,” said Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Manothong Vongsay.

“The EU is the 4th  trade partner of the Lao PDR. Our trade is still relatively modest at around 500 million US$ per year. The recent studies show that there is good potential to increase our trade, especially in promising sectors such as specialty agriculture (like coffee and tea) and wood processing under the ARISE Plus project,” Ambassador of the European Union to Laos, Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė.

“ITC looks forward to strengthening its partnerships with the Lao PDR and the EU, exploring opportunities for new initiatives, in line with the Resilience Framework and the 9thNational Socioeconomic Development Plan 2021-2025 of the Government of the Lao PDR focusing on green and inclusive economy and human capital,” said Chief, Office for Asia and the Pacific, International Trade Center, Ms. Sylvie Betemps Cochin.

The ARISE Plus project has been instrumental in promoting inclusive economic growth, trade intelligence, and participation in global value chains in the Lao PDR. Through its collaboration with key government agencies, trade support institutions, and the private sector, the project facilitated market access, built capacity, and created opportunities for Lao exporters. As the project officially concludes, it leaves behind a legacy of enhanced competitiveness, improved resilience, and sustainable economic growth for the Lao PDR.

KPL

ຂ່າວອື່ນໆ

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