A signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding for implementation of three Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) , each with grant assistance from the Government of India of US$50,000, took place on Aug 11, at the premises of the Ministry of Education and Sports in Vientiane.
The agreement was signed by Indian Ambassador to Laos Dinkar Asthana and Director of Vocational Training Department Nouphan Oudsa and Luang Prabang Provincial Education and Sports Department Vongphet Oudomlith.
Minister of Education and Sports Phout Simmalavong presided over the occasion. Senior officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Indian Embassy in Vientiane were also present.
Out of the three projects, two projects are to construct primary school buildings in Kewxang village (Phonthong district) and Nakheng village (Chomphet district), Luang Prabang Province.
The third project is the construction of a 5- room dormitory at the Lao India Entrepreneurship Development Centre (LIEDC) which was set up under India-ASEAN Cooperation Framework as part of Government of India’s support for initiatives of ASEAN Integration.
LIEDC was inaugurated by External Affairs Minister of India in Vientiane on Nov 27, 2004 and trains Lao entrepreneurs for setting up small and medium scale businesses. In its initial years, the LIEDC was fully supported by the Government of India, including by deputing faculty from the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad. The Government of India also donated some gadgets like computers, lap tops, projectors, in 2018 as support to the centre.
The new dormitory at LIEDC will be of immense support to any trainers who may require accommodation including trainers from India. At present, the LIEDC does not have this facility.
The grant assistance is being extended through the Government of India’s Quick Impact Project (QIP) scheme under the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation framework.
The QIP scheme is geared towards delivering socio-economic benefits to short gestation projects.
One Quick Impact Project in agriculture, viz. Establishment of a fertilizer analysis laboratory at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Lao PDR, has been completed and was formally handed over to the Government of the Lao PDR in April this year. Two more Quick Impact Projects in agriculture, namely, goat raising and green cardamom cultivation, are due to be completed shortly.
Minsiter Phout Simmalavong thanked the Government of India for providing assistance for implementation of three Quick Impact Projects. He said, these projects will facilitate the learning conditions for students.
The Ambassador observed that India and the Lao PDR share long-standing religious, cultural, and people-to-people linkages going back long into history. Diplomatic relations between the countries, as modern sovereign nation-states, were established in 1956, and they have exchanged several high-level visits over the decades.
This year, the Lao PDR and India are also celebrating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. The Ambassador highlighted the fact that relations between India and the Lao PDR are based on respect for national sovereignty and mutual benefit in pursuit of development and upliftment of the peoples of the two countries.
India’s development cooperation portfolio in the Lao PDR stretches across a broad canvass capacity building through Indian Technical and Economic (ITEC) Programme and long-term scholarships for higher studies, Quick Impact Projects for socio-economic development under grant assistance, projects under lines of credit or soft loans, joint Lao-India centres for English language training and entrepreneurship development as well as heritage conservation projects, including restoration of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the iconic Vat Phou (originally, a Shiva temple), by experts from the Archaeological Survey of India deputed under the ITEC Programme.
The Government of India continues to support and collaborate with various Ministries, Departments of the government of the Lao PDR under different frameworks and mechanisms.
Source: Lao News Agency