Round Table Meeting to Boost Development in Laos


Senior government officials and their development partners will discuss ways to extend cooperation and mobilise aid to finance cooperative programmes in Laos.

The upcoming round table meeting that will be held in Vientiane province from November 24-25 will provide a platform to further strengthen cooperation between the government and development partners and promote their partnerships for effective development results.

Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Souphanh Keomixay made the observation at a meeting yesterday.

The theme of the upcoming meeting will be enhanced Partnership for Effective Implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (8th NSEDP)  Achieving the Least Developed Country graduation criteria by 2020.

The meeting will be held at a critical juncture in the transition to the new development agenda, both globally and in our country, as the 8th NSEDP that runs from 2016 to 2020 has now been finalised. The plan is vital to ensuring Laos graduates from least developed country status by 2020, Dr Souphanh said .

He stated that the meeting will provide an important opportunity for the government and its development partners to discuss ways and means for the implementation of the 8th NSEDP, particularly the need to enhance the partnership for effective development cooperation.

Participants will discuss the achievements and lessons of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2015-2016), Laos’s progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the vision and direction of the 8th NSEDP to run from 2016 to 2020. More specifically, Dr Souphanh highlighted that the meeting will cover the government’s strategic development policies in promoting economic growth, stability and inclusion, boosting human development through improved food security and nutrition, health and education, and ensuring development is sustainable and helps mitigate climate change.

United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Laos, Ms Kaarina Immonen will give a keynote speech at the meeting, which will also consider the new Sustainable Development Goals.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity to mobilise aid from donors, formally known as Official Development Assistance (ODA), to finance development initiatives, according to the ministry. In recent years Laos has received more ODA from development partners, despite the global economic slowdown.

Statistics showed that ODA provided to Laos in the 2012-2013 fiscal year reached US$777.10 million, an increase from the US$704.83 million given the year before.

The Vientiane Declaration on the Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation will be launched during the upcoming round table meeting.

The declaration updates an existing document from 2006, expanding the concept of aid effectiveness to effective development cooperation, which places a greater emphasis on new sources of development finance alongside Official Development Assistance.


Source: Vientiane Times