More than 50 participants from Lao PDR line ministries, international organizations, business networks, non-profit organizations and Mekong Institute (MI) alumni met in Vientianne on 2 March 2010 to discuss capacity development issues in Lao PDR. The meeting was jointly organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MI. 

MI, the only human resource development inter-governmental organization owned by the 6 GMS countries, including the Lao PDR, is conducting national consultations across the sub-region to define its strategic direction and programmatic thrust for 2011-2015. 

According to Than Latsamy Keomany, Director General of the Foreign Economic Relations Department and the Lao PDR representative to the MI Council, the Government of Lao PDR has supported MI through many years and, as a co-owner of MI, is keen to help shape its future. 

The meeting yielded candid discussions on the needs, challenges and lessons in capacity building in the country. The participants acknowledged that human resource development is critical to achieving common goals for poverty eradication and sustainable growth in the country and the GMS, and affirmed the relevance of MI’s thematic areas to the development agenda of Laos. They noted that Laos is in a unique position at this juncture to develop new participatory and inter active learning models and encouraged MI to assist Laos in such endeavor. 

MI’s programs are aimed at fostering regional cooperation and increasing regional connectivity through knowledge transfer and exchange in its focus areas of rural development, trade and investment facilitation, human migration, project management, good governance.

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