Implementing the Development Plan 2020 for Small and Medium Enterprises in Southern Provinces

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), assisted by the Regional Economic Integration of Laos into ASEAN, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development (RELATED) Project of the Lao – German Development Cooperation organized a Workshop on the Dissemination and Implementation of the Development Plan for small and medium enterprises (SME) 2016 – 2020 for the Southern Provinces in Pakse, Champasak Province on March 01st 2018.

More than 60 delegates - Governors, Vice Governors, Vice Presidents of Provincial Assemblies as well as senior leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Education and Sport, Provincial Government Departments and Chambers of Commerce and Industries - from Southern Provinces (Champasak, Salavan, Sekong, Attapeu) and Vientiane Capital participated in the event.

H.E Somchit Inthamith, Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce, highlighted during the opening session that promoting SME development in Lao PDR is one of the prioritized agenda items of the Lao Government. He invited the relevant structures to urgently translate the SME Development Plan 2016-2020 into provincial SME policies; to emphasize the implementation at the provincial level; and to help Lao SMEs to continuously grow and penetrate the ASEAN and international markets.

The German Development Cooperation is very proud to support SME development in Laos through the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The German “Mittelstand” is proverbial in English language and a worldwide success model. Many Mittelstand companies in Germany are export-oriented. They focus on innovative and high-value manufactured products and occupy worldwide niche market leadership positions in numerous segments.

During its first part, the workshop deliberated on the 7 policies and 43 measures of the SME Development Plan 2016-2020. The second part focused on best practices in developing and implementing the Provincial SME Development Plan in Borlikhamxay, on creating and developing entrepreneurship in Lao PDR, on creating an enabling system for registering SMEs and on SMEs access to finance. The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented its Strategic Work Plan 2018-2020, including the SME Services Centre established in 2017, and explained, how they are linked to the SME Development Plan 2016 – 2020.

In the third part, delegates from four Southern Provinces (Champasak, Salavan, Sekong and Attapeu) presented and discussed their future-oriented policies on SME Development 2018-2020. They also presented concrete measures to be implemented in 2018 to promote SME Development in their respective province.

At the end of the workshop, the delegates from the Southern Provinces shared their positive feedback on the content of the workshop and committed to elaborate realistic Provincial SME Development Plans 2018-2020. The provincial SME plans are expected to be coherent with the national SME Development Plan 2016-2020, to reflect the provincial contexts and resources, and should be implemented until 2020.