The European Union and Lao PDR held fruitful discussions about ongoing and future cooperation in Vientiane Capital on February 16.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the European Union held their bi-annual Lao PDR-EU Cooperation Working Group aiming to review ongoing bilateral cooperation and explore opportunities and confirm priorities for future cooperation.
The working group was co-chaired by Mrs Sisomboun Ounavong, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment, and Mr. Jorge de la Caballeria, Head of Unit for South and South East Asia in the Directorate for Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East/Gulf and Pacific of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission.
The Cooperation Working Group discussed in details current and future mechanisms to support Laos’ objective of graduating from the Least Developed Country status by 2020. Useful exchanges have notably allowed the Lao PDR’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs as well on the implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP 2016-2020) and its alignment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be more accurately evaluated.
On this occasion Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Vice Minister to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the European Union Ambassador Mr Leo Faber announced their commitment to successfully implement three financing agreements providing EUR 60.5 million for food and nutrition security, governance and rule of law, and to reduce the impact of unexploded ordinances. The event was witnessed by our joint partners Agence Francaise de DeveloppementGIZ, KfW, UNDP and UNICEF.
As Lao PDR moves towards graduation from Least Developed Country in the near future, we see our cooperation as instrumental in supporting Lao’s efforts for this graduation. This will mean focusing on Sustainable Development Goals, notably on education and nutrition, and striving for inclusive development by reaching the most remote areas as well as the disadvantaged groups” Mr Leo Faber said.
This year the EU and the Lao PDR celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Cooperation Agreement and therefore I am pleased to support the successful implementation of these new financing agreements,” Dr. Kikeo Chantaboury said.
The Working Group was also an occasion to share views on the European Joint Programming, a mechanism of cooperation the EU and its member states, along with Switzerland, have adopted together with the Lao Government so as to deliver aid more effectively through a sound division labour and close alignment with the 8th NSEDP’s priorities. Within this programme the EU has decided to focus on three areas, namely nutrition, education and governance for the period 2016-2020.
In total the EU will allocate some 207 million Euros for the period of 2014-2020.
Source: Lao News Agency