The Lao People's Democratic Republic and the U.S. Launch New Trade and Investment Project

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 28, 2014

Senior officials of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), the U.S. Embassy, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today formally launched the second “Lao PDR – U.S. International and ASEAN Integration Project” (LUNA II) that will promote investment to create more jobs and help implement the country’s trade and economic reforms.

In the presence of H.E. Minister of Industry and Commerce Madame Khemmani Pholsena, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in Vientiane by Vice Minister Siaosavath Savengsuka, U.S. Ambassador Daniel A. Clune and USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia Mission Director Mr. Michael Yates.  Under this MOU, USAID will provide $8.5 million for the LUNA II project and will contribute $0.5 million to the Trade Development Facility II, a multidonor trust fund jointly managed by MOIC and the World Bank. 

Specifically, the USAID LUNA II project will support Lao PDR’s efforts to meet World Trade Organization (WTO) accession commitments, achieve full membership in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community by 2015 and further implement requirements under the U.S.-Lao PDR Bilateral Trade Agreement. 

"With this new project, we will strengthen the longstanding partnership between our governments as we continue to look for ways to enhance the business environment and increase opportunities for trade," said U.S. Ambassador Clune.

The project seeks to help Lao PDR integrate more fully into the multilateral trading system and strengthen the foundation for a modern, market economy.  Deeper integration and a more predictable and transparent rules-based system will help spur investments to generate jobs and economic growth and elevate Lao PDR to a middle-income economy in line with government objectives.

The previous USAID trade project, LUNA I which concluded last year conducted over 70 workshops on transparency and public participation in legislative development. Over 4,000 Lao officials and businesses benefited from training in intellectual property, agricultural and industrial goods standards, and legislative transparency.

USAID's Regional Development Mission for Asia has supported Lao PDR with economic reforms since 2007.