On July 26, the Lao National Institute of Economic Research and the Ministry of Planning and Investment held a workshop to launch the development of Lao PDR’s National Green Growth Strategy and the Green Growth Promotion Center and its Steering Committee. The workshop brought together almost 80 participants from across government ministries and departments together with development partners and research institutes to discuss the opportunities for green growth in Lao PDR and agree on the roadmap to develop the national green growth strategy.
The aim of the workshop was to initiate the strategy development process and gather inputs from relevant stakeholders to inform the mandate of the Green Growth Promotion Center and Steering Committee. GGGI will provide technical support to the Green Growth Steering Committee throughout the process to share relevant technical experience and expertise from other countries.
During the workshop, GGGI shared insights and lessons learned from the Republic of Korea (ROK)’s Green Growth Experience for the Government of Lao PDR to consider as they begin working on their green growth strategy. Representatives of the Government of Lao PDR were particularly impressed with ROK’s advancement in green technologies and development in new industries, both of which became a major economic growth engine for the country. Key factors contributing to ROK’s success include: strong political leadership at the highest levels; active government engagement to mobilize and incentivize the private sector; investing in bottom-up engagement strategies so that people and businesses can be involved in green growth initiatives; and building local and global partnerships to tap into resources and share experiences for green growth.
Mr. Bousane Boupphavanh, Head of the National Institute of Economic Research and Head of the National Green Growth Drafting Strategy and Promotion Center of Lao PDR, highlighted the potential for green growth to help address some of the economic challenges the country is currently facing. Dr. Kikeo Chanthabouly, Vice Minister for Planning and Investment emphasized the importance of and the need to move beyond natural resource based economic growth that has left the country vulnerable to external shocks. Workshop participants also shared their ideas about Lao PDR’s comparative advantages to contribute to the future identification of green growth priorities that will be agreed in 2018 and endorsed by the Prime Minister. Although recognizing some of the challenges the country will face, the workshop ended on a high note, with many participants expressing optimism over the future prospects for green growth in Lao PDR.