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ADB grant to scale up sanitary management

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$10 million grant as additional financing to the Trade Facilitation: Improved Sanitary and Phytosanitary Handling in Greater Mekong Subregion Trade Project in Laos.
 The additional financing follows a US$14 million loan and grant approved in 2012 for the same project to improve capacity for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) management systems in Laos through enhancing surveillance and monitoring of plant health, animal health, and food safety.

The agreement for the project was signed in Vientiane on Monday between ADB Country Director to the Lao PDR Yasushi Negishi and Deputy Minister of Finance Mrs Thipphakone Chanthavongsa.
“Effective SPS management systems are crucial for facilitation of trade in agriculture, food and forestry (AFF) products and increasing the benefits of the country’s participation in regional and global trade,” Mr Negishi said.
“The national trade data shows clear benefits such as the increase in export volume of AFF products resulting from improved SPS management systems. For instance, rice exports from Laos to the People’s Republic of China have increased 400 percent from 2015 to 2017. This project will help Laos to further expand its agricultural exports.”
The additional grant will support the Lao government in scaling-up existing SPS enhancement initiatives including strengthening surveillance and inspection programmes for plant, animal health and food safety; improving regional cooperation and harmonisation on SPS issues; and enhancing education levels for national SPS specialists.
Project activities will be expanded to five more priority provinces, namely Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Oudomxay, Savannakhet, and Vientiane.
The additional financing project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Health, Agriculture Faculty at the National University of Laos, and the Ministry of Education and Sports. It will run for three years, with an expected completion date of June 2021.
Mrs Thipphakone highlighted the project’s accomplishments over the past five years, which contribute to food safety and ensure plant and animal health.
She thanked ADB for continuing to support Laos through this project and Laos’ efforts to graduate from least developed country status by 2020.
The ADB’s assistance to Laos is consistent with the rapidly evolving development needs of a lower-middle-income country and the government’s five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan until 2020.
Laos is a member of the Greater Mekong Subregion which has a combined population of around 326 million people. In 1992, with assistance from ADB, the six countries entered into a programme of subregional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations among the countries.
Established in 1966, ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled US$31.7 billion, including US$14 billion in co-financing.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
November 15,

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