News 24.07.2014

24.07.2014

LCA and GIZ continue fruitful cooperation, hold workshop to define future activities

On July 22nd and 23rd 2014 GIZ and LCA hold a workshop in Pakse to introduce GIZ`s new programme RELATED to the LCA members.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise, supporting the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ has already supported LCA for many years under its programme HRDME - Human Resource Development for a Market Economy. The new programme is called RELATED - Regional Economic Integration of Laos into ASEAN, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development. The RELATED project aims to support Laos to realise the benefits and mitigate the risks of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that is to be established in 2015. RELATED assists the Lao business community, especially small- and medium enterprises (SMEs), to be better prepared for the potentials and challenges of regional integration. The project is strengthening the entrepreneurial and technical capacities of the private sector to improve its competitiveness, the quality of its products and its access to other ASEAN countries.

 

To understand the challenges that the LCA members face and to design its activities accordingly the RELATED programme invited LCA members to join a planning workshop. The Lao coffee sector is facing many challenges but the RELATED programme can only support the stakeholders with challenges related to integration into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). 18 representatives of LCA attended the workshop and participated in lively discussions. The following fields of activities were discussed:

-       Maintaining the uniqueness of Lao coffee

-       Improving the Cost Competitiveness of the Lao Coffee Production

-       Improving access to the ASEAN market

-       Service Delivery by LCA

RELATED Programme Director Dr Hartmut Janus is satisfied with the outcomes of the planning workshop: “We have good results of the workshop. This is a good starting point. The participants have defined very precise fields of activities that cover very well the Lao coffee sector on the way into AEC.“ During the next weeks the RELATED programme will fine-tune the plan and look into its practical application.

About ASEAN Economic Community:

The upcoming AEC is of high relevance for the economic development in Laos. It will create a single market with 600 million consumers. For a small and landlocked country, the AEC offers great potential by improving the access to this regional market. Its single production base increases the opportunities to become part of regional value chains. ASEAN member states already account for more than half of the total foreign trade in Laos. However, the opportunities of the AEC are accompanied by a set of challenges for both the public and private sector to be addressed within a tight timeframe until 2015.

About GIZ Laos

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, as part of the Lao-German Development Cooperation, has been active in Laos since 1993 and is currently running projects in the two priority areas: rural development and economic cooperation. Moreover, it participates in regional programmes on behalf of the German Government, for example with the Mekong River Commission.

Further information:  www.giz.de/laos