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Mr Malaythong Kommasith (centre) stands with business representatives during the presentation of GMP and HACCP certificates in Vientiane.

Lancang-Mekong River Fund gives boost to Lao agribusiness

A group of businesses have been awarded Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certificates as part of a project to enhance competitiveness in agribusiness.
The certificates were presented to business representatives at a ceremony held in Vientiane by the Department of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion, represented by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr Malaythong Kommasith.
The businesses were named as Kanthavong Promote Product and Refinement Sole Co., Ltd., Nam Ha Drinking Water Factory and Ice Drinking Water Dokchampa Factory in Luang Namtha province, Vina Salavan Agricultural Import-Exports Sole Co., Ltd. (makers of cassava flour) and the Mueang Khongsedon Whisky Production Sole Co., Ltd in Kongxedon district, Saravan province, Indochina Development Partners Lao Sole Co., Ltd. and Somphone Integrated Agricultural Development Co., Ltd. in Champassak province.
The project was implemented by the Department of SME Promotion with funding of US$136,000 from the Chinese government’s Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund, beginning in 2020.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, implementation of the programme was postponed.
Speaking at the event, Mr Malaythong said the positive results of the project were a step in the right direction to boost Lao exports and he was confident that exports would grow effectively and sustainably.
Many other businesses in Laos should follow the example of the certificate recipients by improving the quality of their products for domestic supply and export, he added.
The price of most goods on sale in Laos is high because manufacturers cannot produce goods in sufficient quantities to meet market demand. The range of goods produced is limited and in most cases the quality is poor, Mr Malaythong said.
The Lancang-Mekong River cooperation framework is an important sub-regional initiative. Although it has been in existence for only a short time, the effectiveness of this cooperation is great and diverse, both through closer links between the peoples of the countries involved and at the highest level of leadership, he added.
The scheme bolsters economic and social development through various cooperation projects and direct assistance from China and serves to strengthen the relationship between the Mekong countries and China.
Since the cooperation framework was established in 2016, member countries, including Laos, have benefited greatly in material ways, such as through Lancang-Mekong River projects and the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Special Fund, which has funded 80 projects at a cost of more than US$21 million.
Laos’ Ministry of Industry and Commerce has benefitted from 17 projects financed by the Lancang-Mekong River Development Fund with a total value of US$2.16 million.
Efforts to strengthen SMEs’ production capacity and efficiency to acceptable standards is a priority area of cooperation between the Mekong River countries and China.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 4, 2023)

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