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USAID, Savannakhet University Enhance Private Sector Development with Knowledge Broadened

Two Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) were signed on February 27 between Savannakhet University and Savannakhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the second between Savannakhet University and Savannakhet Special Economic Zone Management Authority.

These two formal agreements, with funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will enrich the private sector’s knowledge on trade and investment and expand research and management skills in the tourism industry.

The MOA signing ceremony was held at Savannakhet ITECC Centre and witnessed by representatives from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Savannakhet University, National University of Laos, USAID, and the private sector.

Vice Minister of Education and Sports Sourioudong Sundara emphasized the significance of this engagement with the private sector and highlighted the ongoing USAID assistance in this important work ”the Ministry supports and encourages this type of collaboration because it strategically aligns with the Education and Sports Sector’s Development Plan 2021-2025.”

By helping the private sector to enhance their knowledge and potential profit, Savannakhet University will assess trends and demands in the labour market, as well as to further develop and revise their curriculum to reflect the most up to date market environment and growth,” said Vice Minister Sourioudong.

Kaysone Phomvihane City Governor Paxongsin Chaleunsouk thanked the United States for ongoing support to Savannakhet in improving higher education, private sector investment, and support services toward vulnerable populations, including health, nutrition, countering trafficking in persons, and education.

He noted, “Savannakhet enthusiastically supports the 2030 vision endorsed by the Government of the Lao PDR, especially the overall direction for socio-economic strategy. These partnerships and collaborations are evidence of realizing this commitment.”

To support the Government’s vision and strategy, as stated by Dr. Souliyong Xaykosy, Acting President of Savannakhet University, “Lao higher education institutions like Savannakhet University play a key role in analyzing labor market demands, and promoting human resource development with high quality, consistent with the goals of socio-economic development that are competitive and integrated with regional and international arenas.” He added, “We are proud to partner with the private sectors in improving the Lao PDR’s human capital and appreciate the United States support in this important work.”

At the MOA signing ceremony, USAID Country Representative, Mr. Michael Ronning reaffirmed USAID’s commitment to supporting the Government of the Lao PDR to strengthen both the higher education and private sectors, which are essential to the country’s development, stating “Our cooperation in economic development through education and knowledge enhancement is central to the U.S. – Lao Comprehensive Partnership.”.

As part of the MOA signing ceremony, USAID through its Study and Modeling of Management Capacity and System Strengthening (SMCS) project also organized a job fair and goods and services exhibition to bring potential employers closer to the country’s future pool of talented personnel.

During this three-day event between February 27-28 and March 1, 2023, more than 1,000 students and job seekers were able to explore current employment opportunities and gain knowledge about the private sector through invigorating and fun activities made possible by the cooperation of the university and private businesses.

Source: Lao News Agency