The event was chaired by H.E. Mrs. Khemmani Pholsena, the minister of industry and commerce and H.E. Mr. Jens Peter Lutkenherm, Ambassador of Germany in Lao PDR. It was attended by 80 participants from its Lao partners including Lao government, private sector, development partners as well as ECCIL EuroCham Laos.
The RELATED Project is a bilateral project of the Lao – German Development Cooperation started since 2014. The main objective of the project is to improve the AEC-related policy framework conditions and the capacities of the business sector for using economic potentials arising from Laos’ integration into the ASEAN Economic Community. However, as part of the strategy process “BMZ 2030”, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has decided to phase out the bilateral cooperation with 25 countries including Lao PDR.
As a consequence, the RELATED Project of the Lao – German Development Cooperation will close at the end of December 2020.
Ms Khemmani noted that for the past six and half years of collaboration, through technical assistance provided by the RELATED Project, implementation partners at both the central and local levels had achieved significant tangible results.
These comprised establishing AEC-related policy framework conditions in the areas of trade in goods, trade in services and investments; AEC-related services primarily through the SME Service Centre; and improving the competitiveness of AEC-oriented private enterprises in the tourism, coffee, organic agriculture, and handicraft sectors.
During the farewell event, there were a mini fashion show and coffee cupping session which under the RELATED support Laos SMEs to improve their competitiveness.