SRECA in cooperation with the the Department of Foreign Trade Policy at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Lao PDR conducted two workshops on “Enhancing Border Economic Cooperation and Trade between the Lao PDR and the People’s Republic of China including the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)” on 4 November 2022 in Vientiane and on 16 November 2022 in Luang Namtha.

The workshops provided insights into the international trade from Laos to China particularly regarding the GSP. Presentations given by Dr. Piya Wongpit, Researcher at the National University of Laos, were followed by a panel discussion as well as focus group discussions with the private and public sector. The 40 participants of each workshop came from Lao institutions like the Department of Import and Export, the Department of SME Promotion, the SME Service Center at the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Department of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the SME Association, the Lao Business Women’s Association, etc.

Besides the capital Vientiane, where many private companies are involved in trade with the People’s Republic of China are located, the province Luang Namtha was chosen for the location of a second workshop given its direct border to China and a high demand from the local SMEs for services to support their business in general, and related to trade with China in particular.