Laos Promotes Value-Added Manufacturing in Wood Processing Industry

Lao Wooden Products Association will establish a Training and Development Centre (TDC) for building capacity in wood processing industry to support value-added manufacturing in the country before selling and export.

The centre which is expected to begin the construction on the forthcoming June at Vientiane Industry Zone at KM 21 in Saythany district, Vientiane, supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

President of the Lao Wooden Products Association, Mr Thongsavanh Souliyamath told at a meeting in Vientiane on March 23 that the purpose of centre is to build capacities for timber processing companies on new wood manufacturing technologies as well as Chain of Custody for the upcoming Decision of Ministry of Industry and Commerce regarding input/output monitoring for wood processing and trade.

The establishment of TDC, which approved by the Prime Minister’s Office, will be the first training programme in the country.

It will help to upgrade trainees on timber administration, carpenter’s kills development, and marketing promotion. The trainees will be taught by exporters from Germany.

“Modernisation of the Lao wood processing industry is the way forwards to ensure effective use of forest resources, increase value-added from timber products for export, create job opportunities and increase state revenue,” said Deputy Head of Products Standardisation Division, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Mr Phouttanong Vongphachanh.

President of the Lao Wooden Products Association Thongsavanh explained that the Lao wood processing industry has been largely restricted to primary processing and mainly of logs, sawn timber and semi-finished products to its neighbouring countries in the past. Only a limited number of companies have been active in downstream processing, thus the value adding generated by the local wood processing industry is extremely low.

“Thanks to the Prime Minister’s Order No. 15 on Enhancing Strictness on the Management and Inspection of Timber Exploitation, Timber Movement and Timber Business, we now have the mechanism to empower us to modernise our domestic timber sector to ensure value-added and quality timber products meet the demand of domestic and international markets,” he said.

Source: Lao News Agency

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