European diplomats visit Team Europe projects in Vientiane, northern provinces

European Heads of Mission are visiting agricultural, forestry, education and governance projects (Team Europe projects) in Vientiane, Vientiane Province and Luang Prabang Province.

The visit (May 16-18) aims to monitor the progress of the projects and to reaffirm Team Europe’s strong commitment to working together in the framework of the Team Europe Strategy 2021-2025 for the Lao PDR, focusing on three priority areas: Green and Inclusive Economy, Human Capital and Good Governance.

Ambassador of the European Union to the Lao PDR Ina Marciulionyte is visiting these projects with other European diplomats including French ambassador Siv-Leng Chhuor, German ambassador Annette Knobloch, Hungarian Chargé d’Affaires a.i Laszlo Takacs, Luxembourg Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Sam Schreiner, and Deputy Director of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Christian Engler.

Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and Lao journalists also join the trip.

The three-day trip started with the Hungarian-supported Veterinary Vaccine Production Centre (VVPC) in Vientiane and Luxembourg – funded Academy Hotel & Restaurant in Vangvieng of Vientiane Province on Monday.

After a pleasant train-trip to Luang Prabang, the diplomats and domestic officials visited the Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Project (NUSAP), which is co-financed by the EU and France, and the Citizen Engagement for Good Governance, Accountability and the Rule of Law (CEGGA) project, supported by the EU, Germany, and Switzerland.

Finally, Team Europe ended its visit with the Climate Protection through Avoided Deforestation (CliPAD) project, supported by Germany.

During the visit, Team Europe met with local authorities and European businesses to discuss the ongoing social and economic development in the host province as well as the impact of Covid-19. European Heads of Mission also took the opportunity to express their willingness to strengthen their trade, economic, and investment partnership with Laos, especially focusing on quality investment, which contributes to inclusive growth and jobs.

“The visit intends to showcase that Team Europe is working together to accompany Laos towards green and inclusive growth while promoting trade and investment, and consolidating good governance in order to pave the way to a smooth LDC graduation, towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said the EU Ambassador.

“I would like to express my great appreciation and heart-felt thanks to Team Europe for their support, especially in supporting poverty eradication and improving living conditions of multi-ethnic people in the Lao PDR. I hope that European partners will remain side by side with the Government of the Lao PDR to implement successfully the socio-economic development plan and our Green Growth Strategy, in order to contribute to the achievement of SDGS and graduation from the status of least developed country by the year 2026,” shared Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Sthabandith Insisienmay.

For the next five years (2021-2025), the European Union (EU), Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, working together as Team Europe, committed to contribute an estimated EUR550 million in support of a green and inclusive economy, human capital development, and good governance, in the framework of Laos’ 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP).

All six European Ambassadors and Heads of mission outlined their commitment to work together on co-financed projects in order to maximise the effectiveness of European partners’ cooperation in Laos.

Source: Lao News Agency

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