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APO Secretary-General visits Lao PDR to boost productivity cooperation

28 Nov 2023

Celebrating Lao PDR National Productivity Festival in Vientiane.

Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Secretary-General Dr. Indra Pradana Singawinata visited Lao PDR, 23–24 November, to strengthen its productivity partnership with the APO. During his visit, he met high-level officials, attended the National Productivity Festival, and visited two local SMEs.

APO Secretary-General Dr. Indra delivering his remarks (L) and engaging with exhibitors (R).

The Secretary-General’s visit commenced with delivery of remarks at the opening ceremony of the National Productivity Festival and Exhibition on Innovations for Higher Quality, organized by the Department of SME Promotion of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The festival and exhibition showcased the achievements and potential of Lao PDR in enhancing productivity and quality through innovations in various sectors, especially SMEs, and by attracting the participation of youth. Dr. Indra congratulated the Lao government and Lao National Productivity Organization for hosting the event and commemorating the 21st anniversary of Lao PDR’s membership in the APO. He urged those attending to work together to promote and improve productivity in Lao PDR and beyond.

APO Secretary-General Dr. Indra (4th L) with Minister Malaythong Kommasith (Center), Deputy Minister Bountheung Douangsavanh (4th R), Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Dr. Indra also met with Minister of Industry and Commerce Malaythong Kommasith and Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Bountheung Douangsavanh to discuss the implementation of the National Productivity Master Plan developed with APO assistance in 2021. The master plan aims to make Lao PDR a productive, competitive economy in the region by 2030 and to achieve annual labor productivity growth of 5.5% and GDP per capita of USD5,000 by 2030. The Secretary-General offered the APO’s continuous support in undertaking the master plan, especially in the areas of agriculture and agroprocessing, innovation policy framework, and capacity building for SMEs.

On 24 November, Secretary-General Dr. Indra met H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, to convey the APO’s commitment to supporting Lao PDR’s vision and objectives for inclusive, innovation-led productivity growth in the Asia-Pacific region. He encouraged Lao PDR to leverage its membership in the APO and to benefit from the best practices and experiences of other members. He also expressed continuous support of the APO to productivity improvement in Lao PDR and reaffirmed commitment to acting as a key partner in climbing the productivity ladder.

Secretary-General Dr. Indra visiting a local SME in Lao PDR.

The APO Secretary-General visited two SMEs in the agrifood sector which are potential beneficiaries of APO projects: a greenhouse farm that produces organic fruit and vegetables; and a salt factory that applies good producing practices and quality management systems. He learned about the challenges and opportunities faced by the SMEs and discussed how the APO could help them improve their productivity and competitiveness through demonstration projects and technical expert services.

The visit reaffirmed the APO’s commitment to supporting Lao PDR in its productivity endeavors and strengthening mutual cooperation. The APO looks forward to working with Lao PDR in the future to achieve inclusive, innovation-led productivity growth in the Asia-Pacific.

Watch the highlights of the National Productivity Festival here.

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