Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) 2004
DTIS update 2012
WTO accession 2013

With EIF support, Lao PDR developed a Trade and Private Sector Development Roadmap that has served as the main instrument for the country's Aid for Trade harmonization, resource mobilization and coordination efforts. Within the EIF implementation framework, the country has successfully leveraged trade‑related priorities, including a total of 16 projects totalling US$68 million.

EIF-supported analytical work has been used to enhance Lao PDR’s export diversification into sectors with high social impacts, in order to ensure that trade improves the livelihoods of the poor. As a result, donors have been supporting Lao PDR’s trade goals through a multi-donor trust fund.

MOU 25/02/10
Budget 1'446'260
Data de fim 31/03/16

The objective of the project is to enhance Lao PDR’s national capacity to formulate, implement, manage, and monitor a pro-poor trade policy that is consistent with the country’s National Socio‐Economic Development Plan (NSEDP).



  • Four major projects were formulated to support implementation of the Trade and Private Sector Development Roadmap developed from the DTIS Update. These include:

-       US$16.5 Million Trade Development Facility - Multi-Donor Trust Fund co-financed by Australia, EU, Germany, Ireland, USA, and World Bank;

-       US$20 Million SME Access to Finance Project supported by the World Bank;

-       €6.5 Million German funded Project to support regional integration under ASEAN and Entrepreneurship Development; and

-       US$9 Million US Aid funded project to support implementation of commitments under WTO, Laos-US Bilateral Agreement and institutional capacity building and other small TA from various international development institutions, including some regional programmes.

  • The established Lao trade information portal and Electronic Official Gazette are now well-functioning; and implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement has commenced.
  • Collection, classification and streamlining of Non-Tariff Measures is ongoing.
  • The National Trade Facilitation Roadmap has been updated.
  • Key regulatory deficiency in key service sectors, including telecommunications, insurance, and professional services have been identified and addressed.
  • Services and Investment portal has been established.
  • Public private dialogue has been enhanced to improve business environment, including problems related to SME taxation, SME access to finance, high logistics and transport cost, business entry and others.
  • SMEs have been assisted to access long term bank financing through implementing line of credit facility and enhancing SMEs’ financial literacy.
  • Capacity building has been provided for local SMEs through implementation of matching grant scheme and many others. Key sectors that have directly benefited from the matching grant scheme are tourism, IT, general manufacturing, handicraft, and garment industry. Of these, about 40% of beneficiary businesses are owned and managed by women.
  • Improved competitiveness of tourism, handicraft, and agribusiness sectors in Northern and Southern parts of the country using value chain analysis. 
  • Meetings have been held with development partners including UKAID, UNCTAD and KOICA with the goal of securing additional resources for DTIS Action Matrix priorities.
  • The draft of the Development Trade and Industry Development Plan (5-year plan) for the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan has been prepared. This strategy will contain clear development goals and detailed interventions.
  • A Capacity Needs Assessment and Skills Development Action Plan was completed in April 2015 after data collection sessions were held in the 12 departments of the Department of Industry and Commerce of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC). The assessment has identified the training priority levels for the staff and the most needed training topics.
  • Lao PDR hosted a study visit from Bhutanese officials in January 2015 who wanted to learn about Lao PDR's Trade and Private Sector Development Roadmap in order to realize their own potential EIF Tier 2 projects. Hosting the Bhutanese delegation was an important way for Lao PDR to demonstrate the capacity that has been built through the EIF.
  • 45 participants, including NIU technicians, participated in a workshop on investment climate assessment presented by the World Bank in 2014.
  • A meeting was held in January 2015 to discuss more effective ways to increase coordination following a comprehensive review of the overall Aid for Trade governance structure, including the Sector Working Group (SWG); the Project Executive Committee (PEC); and the Project Review Committee (PRC).
  • The PRC held its first meeting in August 2015 with 85 participants. The Chair and Co-chair requested relevant Implementing Agencies (IAs) to revise their work plans to include re-prioritization of activities, especially workshops and study visits.
  • Lao PDR hosted the 21st Session of the EIF Board Meeting in November 2015.
  • 53 people participated in a 4-day NIU fiduciary workshop in July 2015. The objectives of the meeting were to enhance staffs’ understanding on basic principles of financial and procurement management regulations as well as to exchange lessons learnt.
  • A new communications strategy was prepared by an international consultant outlining how to increase NIU visibility, promote trade mainstreaming, and transfer knowledge. Following the completion of the strategy, communications officers from the MoIC and IAs in other ministries participated in a workshop.
MOU 09/12/13
Budget 2'491'883
Data de fim 30/06/18

The National Quality Infrastructure component assists Lao PDR in building the national standardization system, developing a national metrology system to ensure the uniformity and traceability of measurements, building technical infrastructure for accreditation; achieving mutual recognition of accreditation and certification results, and creating private sector awareness of the importance and benefits of implementing international quality standards.


The industrial statistics component will be useful for researchers, analysts, observers, policy makers, development planners, potential investors, and business persons dealing with industrial development in Lao PDR. Manufacturers will also benefit greatly from reliable statistical information.



National Quality Infrastructure

  • Department of Standardization and Metrology (DSM) was upgraded from subscriber member to correspondence member in the ISO membership in early 2017.
  • The current capacity of the Quality Control Laboratory (QCL) at Champasack University, Champasack was reviewed and assessed. The findings revealed that staff training on certain topics such as Microbiological Contaminant Analysis, Chemical Residue Analysis and Laboratory Quality System (ISO/IEC 17025) was needed. The lab is expected to be accredited by the Bureau of Laboratory Quality Standards, Ministry of Health, Thailand, and to apply for ISO/IEC 17025 by the end of the project.
  • 106 standards have been adopted/approved.
  • Training has been provided on Legislation and Document Control including in the Textile Testing on Lab observation at Bureau of Accreditation of Vietnam for three DSM staff and on how to utilize some lab equipment for eight lab staff and two NIU officials. Inspections of food contaminated residue have also been conducted in a meeting with the Department of Planning and Cooperation (DPC), Ubon University, Government Pharmaceutical Organization, Thailand Institute of Science and Technology, Thailand, in June 2017.
  • 23 members of the National Standards Council and 89 members of the National Technical Committee participated in a workshop in 2016 to discuss proposed procedures for the preparation, adoption and application of standards in accordance with WTO-TBT Agreement.
  • DSM almost participated in TBT committee meetings at the WTO in Geneva.
  • The Lao National Accreditation Bureau (LNAB) has conducted three mock assessments and trained six staff on the use of LNAB assessment procedures.  Work still needs to be done for LNAB to be officially recognized by the Government of Lao PDR, which would then allow it to apply for international accreditation. It is anticipated that LNAB will be able to receive international recognition by 2020.
  • The project supported DSM staff to participate in workshop on the Certification of Product and Quality Management in Hanoi City Vietnam, which allowed them to learn from Vietnam’s experiences working in this area.
  • 50 people from line ministries, government agencies, industry and the DSM participated in a training course in Vientiane in October 2015 focusing on the international requirements for standardization and the role of the National Standards Council in the development of standards.
  • The procurement and calibration of lab equipment for the Metrology Centre began in 2015.
  • 48 participants in Xiengkhounag province attended a training on internal audit to ensure that the labs are conformant to international standards.
  • 25 people who would be assigned by the DSM as Assessors of Accreditation participated in the following courses: Internal Calibration Course (2 days), Uncertainty Calibration Course (2 days), Lead Assessor Course (5 days).
  • 169 participants learned the role and importance of standardization and metrology during three workshops in Saysomboun province, Sekong province and Xiengkhouang province in 2015.
  • 5 people have been appointed to the Lao Quality Center (LQC), whose work is to establish the conformance of products or services against specifications, regulations, performance requirements, and the like. 
  • 11 delegates from the DSM participated in a study visit to Thailand in May 2015.  The Lao Delegation had an opportunity to learn about Personnel Development on Laboratory Accreditation and Standards and observe the practices of National Institute of Metrology Thailand.
  • A one-day workshop for SMEs was held in Vientiane in May 2015. The workshop covered the quality management system and how it helps SMEs to generate more revenue, implement quality activities, and improve product safety.


Industrial Statistics

  • All the equipment for the Vientiane and provincial statistical offices of the Department of Industry and Handicrafts (DoIH) were procured. This will support the capacity building of the country in hardware for industrial statistics.
  • Activities implemented in 2016 were concentrated primarily on conducting the Lao PDR manufacturing survey. The survey aims to generate statistics about production levels and employment.
  • The questionnaire was designed with input from the key stakeholders, and a data entry system was also developed. Over 2,200 questionnaires were produced, in order to survey all large and medium sized enterprises, along with a sample of small enterprises. 80 enumerators were trained, and field work began in September 2016. Data collection and entry was completed in 2017.
  • 10 participants went on a study tour to Thailand to learn from industrial statisticians about their practices and experiences.
  • Training was provided to provincial statisticians both in May 2015 on input data system design with tabulation with MS for DoIH statisticians.
  • 40 participants (DoIH teams and provincial statisticians) participated in a two-day training in June 2015 covering basic statistics, industrial statistics, and industrial index field enumeration, data collection and data input.


  • Lao PDR Diagnostic Trade Integration Study: Building Export Competitiveness in Laos (2006)

  • Lao PDR DTIS Action Matrix (2006)

  • Building Export Competitiveness in Laos: Summary Report (2006)

  • Building Export Competitiveness in Laos: Background Report (2006)

  • Lao Trade Magazine (January 2011)

  • Lao PDR DTIS Update: Trade and Private Sector Development Roadmap (2012)

  • Country Profile: Lao PDR (2011)

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  • Trading Stories: Lao PDR (2013)


Phouvieng Phongsa
EIF Focal Point (Deputy Director, Department of Planning and Cooperation, Ministry of Industry and Commerce)

Bryan Fornari
EIF Donor Facilitator (Delegation of the European Union to Lao PDR)

Lattanaphone Vongsouthi
NIU Coordinator (Deputy Director of Foreign Aid Division - Ministry of Industry and Commerce)

Hang Tran
Country Coordinator