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Participants gather for a photo after a meeting in Vientiane province to discuss ways to improve the wood processing industry.                            --Photo International Trade Centre

Forestry ministry, partners mull ways to improve wood processing industry

Laos is striving for sustainable growth by improving its forestry and wood sector’s legal, regulatory, and institutional framework.
As part of the plan, representatives from related organisations gathered to update the approval decision of the standard for wood products for export No. 0851 from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The meeting took place in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, last week, to discuss important issues concerning wood industry management and export.
The wood processing industry in Laos holds a lot of promise for increasing the value of exports.
The meeting’s objective was to ensure that wood products, including rattan and bamboo, are in line with the roles and responsibilities of Forestry Department of the Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture, and adhere to product standards and legislation.
Led by the Department of Forestry, among the participants were the Forest Inspection Department, Department of Industry and Handicraft, Department of Import and Export, the Lao Wood Processing Industry Association, the Lao Furniture Association, and representatives from the European Union Delegation to Laos and the International Trade Centre (ITC).
Attendees discussed adjusting various items on the product list. They also defined standard sizes, and increasing or decreasing the standard size for certain products.
The discussions are in response to the government’s Wood Processing Sector Export Roadmap for 2021-2025, which the government launched in collaboration with the ITC under the ARISE Plus project with the support of the European Union.
The roadmap aims to improve the sector’s competitiveness by enhancing the legal and regulatory framework, as well as promoting sustainability by reducing illegal logging and increasing the use of certified wood.
Director General of the Department of Forestry, Mr Sousath Sayakoummane, said “Building upon our natural resources and timber production capacities, Laos’ wood processing sector has tremendous potential to drive economic growth, generate employment, and support diversification.”
“We must work together as a team towards achieving our goal - making sure our timber industry is sustainable and efficient while also complying with international regulations.”
EU Green Deal programme manager of the EU Delegation to Laos, Ms Cecile Leroy, said after outlining the EU Deforestation Regulation “The EU is strongly committed to support green and inclusive growth in Laos.”
“In this regard, the Team Europe Partnership with Laos to increase sustainable and inclusive trade, investment and connectivity in the agriculture and forestry sectors is expected to start in early 2024.”

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 15, 2023)

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