U.S. Ambassador Daniel Clune Hosts Close Out Ceremony for USAID/RDMA’s Laos Program

U.S. Ambassador Daniel A. Clune welcomed Lao and U.S. officials and private sector representatives to his residence for a closing celebration for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Laos-U.S. International and ASEAN Integration Project.  Under the project, over 4,000 Lao officials and businesses benefited from training in intellectual property, agricultural and industrial goods standards, and…

Myanmar Commercial Law Ready to be Improved to Support Sustained Economic Growth

The Attorney General, the Union of Myanmar, emphasized the importance of commercial law development for Myanmar’s development plans at the opening of the commercial law development workshop hosted by USAID on commercial law development.Conducted on November 20-21, the workshop demonstrated how commercial law leads to inclusive and sustained economic growth.  By the end of the…

Sustainable Mekong Factsheet

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USAID Supports Small and Medium Enterprise Growth in Lower Mekong Countries

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for over 95% of all business in ASEAN and over 50% of employment in the region.  Their contribution to GDP is generally significant, about 30-53 percent.   Moreover, they are a key entry point into the formal economy for women and youth.  ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment Project is…

Self-certification of Origin Workshop in Yangon Myanmar

Today most ASEAN countries require that the origin (place of manufacture or creation) of a good, which is crucial for determining whether lower tariffs in a free trade agreement apply, must be certified by a government body or business association.  This can be a cumbersome process.  Under self-certification, the exporter itself would certify the origin of…

USAID Continues Helping Laos on Developing Trade Remedy Legislation

On November 12-13, 2013, Lao Officials visited Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce Department of Foreign Trade for a study mission on Trade Remedies Procedures in order to gain perspective on drafting Lao legislation on trade remedies and to learn about the practical experience of how Thailand carries out trade-remedy investigations and applies trade remedies in practice.Laos…

Yangon Welcomes Self-certification of Origin to Support Its Trade Facilitation

ASEAN plans to establish a region-wide system or self-certification by 2015 to facilitate and reduce the cost of doing business in ASEAN.  As in any preferential trading area, a product must first receive origin certification before it can claim any trade privileges.  Normally such certificate will be issued by a government agency or an authorized…

NEWS: Lower Mekong Officials Meet to Support ASEAN Integration and Regional Cooperation

PHNOM PENH - Senior officials of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) gathered for a two-day meeting in Siem Reap on 6-7 November 2013 for the 5th Lower Mekong Initiative Regional Working Group Meeting and an informal discussion on the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM).   Delegates deliberated on the outcomes of the last LMI Ministerial…

Lower Mekong Initiative Fifth Regional Working Group Meeting Co-chairs’ Statement

The Royal Government of Cambodia hosted over 90 delegates from Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, and the United States in Siem Reap on November 6-7, 2013 for the 5th Lower Mekong Initiative Regional Working Group Meeting.  The Lower Mekong Initiative is a multinational forum for addressing trans-boundary policy and development challenges in the pillar…

NEWS: Lower Mekong Initiative Group Meets in Cambodia

Action programmes to deploy the U.S.’s 50 million USD support package pledged to Lower Mekong countries was discussed at the fifth meeting of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Regional Working Group in Cambodia on November 6-7. Addressing the meeting, US Ambassador to ASEAN David Carden stressed that the Mekong River is a valuable natural resource for…

NEWS: The 5th Lower Mekong Initiative Regional Working Group Meeting

The 5th Lower Mekong Initiative Regional Working Group Meeting has opened in Siem Reap to define implementation steps following the U.S. commitment of 50 million dollars of infrastructure and food security aids to the region. Five Lower Mekong countries including Vietnam will benefit from the 2-year program.  Speaking at the event, U.S. Ambassador David Carden hailed…

Cambodia Hosts Lower Mekong Initiative Meeting to Build Sustainable Regional Cooperation

The Royal Government of Cambodia hosted over 80 delegates from Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States in Siem Reap on November 6-7, 2013 for the 5th Lower Mekong Initiative Regional Working Group Meeting.  Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the foreign ministers of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam…