Green Development for Lao PDR
24 August 2019
To promote inclusive and sustainable industry development, quality investments and private sector involvement in green growth, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Lao PDR and the Investment Promotion Center of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) organized a visit of 20 Chinese delegation members from 10 leading enterprises on ecology industry to Laos.
Currently, Laos ranks amongst the fastest growing economies in the world, with 6.6% GDP growth in 2018 and expected 7% growth through 2019. These outcomes have on one hand reduced poverty rates, on the other hand they were relying heavily on the country’s natural resources. With more than 1 billion USD value of investment in the country’s development per year, it was enshrined in the strategic priorities of the Lao PDR’s 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, that the following investment projects should sustain strong economic growth while protecting the natural environment and human health.
In the framework of strengthening South-South cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese businessmen interested in the Lao market came to explore the possibilities to invest in the green development of Lao PDR and share their experience of environmentally friendly cooperation with other countries.
During the visit, the delegates had an opportunity to discuss the Lao investment profile with the Department of Investment Promotion at the Ministry of Planning and Investment and at the Foreign Affairs Department of the Vientiane Capital Governor’s Office. Sustainable industrial development and national green growth policies were examined at meetings with the Department of Planning and Cooperation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Industry and Handicraft of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and other related departments.
Investment in construction projects of waste and sewage treatment facilities, as well as building of urban water plants turned to be of particular interest to the visitors. It was highlighted by the businessmen from waste disposal, drainage and sewage treatment sectors that green facilities do not only protect the environment and strengthen the country’s resilience to climate change, but also generate new opportunities for local people, by creating jobs in new industries.
The three-day discussions with local counterparts and government representatives resulted in an agreement in principle to establish a joint committee to exchange expertise, technology and technical know-how, to build capacity and promote investment in areas of waste disposal, drainage and sewage treatment. Moreover, the Chinese delegation left Vientiane with the firm resolve to set up a bilateral center for industry waste monitoring and management.