The Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic’s wood sector will this week continue efforts to chart a new future as key participants are meeting to in Vientiane to explore next steps for reforming the sector. Stakeholders meeting in the capital will review, revise, and validate a draft plan of action for the Wood Processing Sector Export Roadmap, which will outline a way forward for improving trade prospects for wood furniture, sheets and laminated wood, and other products in the coming five years.
This meeting follows an initial consultation meeting held in December 2019, during which representatives from government, business and sector associations, as well as development partners, identified the main challenges facing the sector and what actions are needed for the sector to leverage opportunities in regional and global markets.
Using a consultative approach, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s Department of Industry and Handicrafts is leading work on the roadmap in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and with the support of the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The development of the roadmap is a part of ARISE Plus, a four-year national component of the Enhanced ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU (ARISE) Plus programme. Funded by the European Union and implemented by ITC, ARISE Plus contributes to the integration of the Laotian enterprises into global value chains by providing targeted support to both the public and private sectors.
Following this week’s meeting, the validated plan of action will be finalized and roadmap document prepared for approval by the government. Preparations will also continue on support for the implementation of the activities prioritized in the roadmap.
In addition to its work in the wood processing sector, ITC is providing support to the Laotian government to develop a roadmap for the country’s coffee sector.