The Training and Development Centre (TDC) for Lao Wood Processing Sector launches its first Training Programme today, after its approval of the Prime Minister’s Office on 15 February 2017 with the Notification No. 265 on the Establishment of Wood Processing Model and Wood Processing Cluster. The purpose of TDC is to build capacities for timber processing companies on new wood manufacturing technologies as well as Chain of Custody for the upcoming MOIC Decision (Ministry of Industry and Commerce) on input/output monitoring for wood processing and trade. The training centre has been established with support from the German Development Cooperation’s project ‘Support to the Lao-EU FLEGT Process’ (ProFLEGT), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and local authorities.
“Modernisation of the Lao wood processing industry is the way forward to ensure effective use of forest resources, increase value added from timber products for export, create job opportunities and increase States income”, said Mr. Phoutthanong Chanthavong, Deputy Director of Products Standard Division, Department of Industry and Handicraft, MOIC, at the launching of the TDC on 23 March 2017 at the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The need of strengthening the domestic and international competitiveness of the Lao wood processing companies, especially for the European and other western markets, has been identified by the Government of Lao PDR as an important requirement to achieve relevant positive impacts from the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), a bilateral trade agreement between the Government of Lao PDR and the European Union, under the Lao-EU FLEGT process (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade), to promote legal timber trade and tackle illegal logging.
“The Lao wood processing industry has been largely restricted to primary processing and mainly exports of logs, sawn timber and semi-finished products to its neighbouring countries in the past. Only a limited number of companies has been active in downstream processing, thus the value-adding generated by the local wood processing industry is extremely low”, said Mr. Thongsavanh Soulignamat, President of the Lao National Wooden Products Industry Association. “Thanks to the Prime Minister Order No. 15, 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 added.
“The introduction of the Chain of Custody System will not only serve to show the legality of timber and timber flows, but will also provide additional advantages for the company’s performance”, commented by Mr. Heiko Woerner, senior international adviser to the German Development Cooperation’s project ‘Support to the Lao-EU FLEGT Process’ (ProFLEGT), implemented by GIZ. “Combined with the proper Production Management System, companies can remarkably improve their performance and efficiency as relevant data such as input and output quantities per job order per batch will be automatically recorded and be used for a better production management”, he added.
You can download the press release HERE