Switzerland confirms its continued support for Laos
A Swiss delegation last week visited Swiss-funded programmes in Laos including the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College, Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, and projects in villages under the Poverty Reduction Fund and the Agro-Biodiversity Initiative.
The team was in Laos from January 22-27.
The visit to the Swiss development programmes was led by Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Deputy Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and responsible for the South Cooperation Department. He was accompanied by the Ambassador of Switzerland to Laos, Mr Ivo Sieber, Head of the East Asia Division at SDC, MrsFranziskaFreiburghaus, and Director of the Mekong Region Programme, Mr Tim Enderlin.
Ambassador Greminger reaffirmed Switzerland's continued support as a development partner of Laos. Switzerland, through the SDC, is supporting 17 bilateral and regional projects in Laos with a total of almost US$20 million a year, according to the SDC.
Discussions included joint poverty reduction priorities under the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), Sustainable Development Goals, development effectiveness and the role of civil society and the private sector in the development of Laos.
The projects contribute to the efforts of Laos to implement the NSEDP with emphasis on ensuring sustainability, integration into the Asean community and ultimately supporting the country's effort to graduate from Least Developed Country status.
Laos and Switzerland have enjoyed a long-lasting partnership since the 1990s and will continue to deepen their development cooperation.
Ambassador Greminger visited Swiss projects on Agriculture and Food Security, Local Governance and Citizen Participation as well as Technical Vocational Education and Training in LuangPrabang province.
The mission to Laos was to better understand what measures the Lao government is taking to improve opportunities for poor people in areas that continue to lag with regard to access to various types of education, health services and infrastructure, as well as job opportunities and how Switzerland's programmesares helping to improve those conditions.
During a reception in Vientiane, Ambassador Greminger reflected on his visits to SDC projects, saying “Our activities make a difference for the poor groups of the Lao population which we specifically try to reach and which we know are most affected by poverty; people from ethnic groups and women.”
During their visit, the delegation met with the LuangPrabang province government officials and with various government representatives in Vientiane.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 30, 2017)