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Opportunities in Agriculture between India & Lao PDR - VBSM on 11 August 2021

Posted on: August 23, 2021 | Back | Print

Opportunities in Agriculture

Lao PDR-India: Virtual Buyer Seller Meet

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA), in cooperation with Embassy of India in Vientiane; Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Government of Lao PD; Embassy of Lao PDR in India; and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), organized a Virtual Buyer Seller Meet (VBSM) on 11th August 2021 to explore opportunities in agriculture between Lao PDR and India. The virtual meeting was well attended by more than 130 participants, including 75 companies from Lao PDR and India involved in agriculture trade and related activities.

H.E. Mr Dinkar Asthana, Ambassador of India to Lao PDR, delivered the inaugural address. He stressed on the need of a mutually beneficial trade and investment engagement in agriculture sector between businesses in India and Lao DPR with added focus on quality. Considering the comparative advantage and expertise of India in areas like buffalo meat, rice, spices, green cardamom, cashew nuts, organic farming, etc., he observed that cooperation in these should bring benefits to both the countries.

In his special address, H.E. Dr Phet PHOMPHIPHAK, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, highlighted the importance of agriculture to the Lao economy, as it contributes about 16% of GDP, 50% of export earnings and 70% of country’s workforce engaged in agriculture sector. Referring to Agriculture Development Strategy up to 2025 and its vision for 2030, Lao PDR aims to migrate subsistence farmers to commercial production, transforming the sector into a main driving engine of national growth and development. The Minister also highlighted the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the agricultural value chain development.

H.E. Mr Bounneme CHOUANGHOM, Ambassador of Lao PDR in India, in his address reiterated India’s assistance and support to several agriculture projects, especially for the development of irrigation systems. He requested that the businesses from the two sides to keep connecting and consulting with each other to find new ways and means to make use of the opportunities in agriculture sector for the benefit of both the countries.

Dr Xaybandith RASPHONE, Vice President of LNCCI stressed that Lao PDR has a strategic location to connect countries in the Mekong sub-region and ASEAN countries and expressed hope that continued cooperation between Lao PDR and India businesses will promote trade in the agriculture sector. At the end, Chairman of APEDA, Dr M. Angamuthu thanked the two Embassies and the Ministry of Agriculture Ministry for providing this opportunity. He expressed hope that these initiatives will be helpful to promote win-win cooperation for the farmers and traders of the two countries.

During the virtual meeting, an e-Catalogue prepared by the APEDA was also released. The catalogue has contact details of companies from India and Lao PDR in the agriculture sector. The second part of the event was a virtual buyer-seller meet (VBSM) session where businessmen and associations from various sub-sectors of agriculture, e.g. rice, fruits & vegetables, meat & livestock, food processing, and organic farming & products, highlighted potential opportunities and discussed possibilities of cooperation. Notable speakers representing the Lao side in the VBSM were Hon. Mr Thongsavanh Meeboun, Member of the National Assembly of the Lao PDR, Dr Sithong Phiphakhavong, DDG of Department of Liverstock and Fisheries, MAF, Mr Pheutsapha Phoummasak, President, AIDC and Dr Kulwant Singh, Agriculture expert.

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