The Mekong Institute (MI), in collaboration with the Economic Research Institute for Trade (ERIT), the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) of Lao PDR, and the New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme, has recently conducted a national workshop designed to disseminate action research findings into SME cluster development in Lao PDR.
The workshop gave the national researchers an opportunity to present and validate research findings conducted between November and December 2012 which focus on methods of enhancing SME cluster and export consortia formation in two indentified industries: silk and handicrafts, and furniture and wooden-goods.
In total, the workshop bought together 45 key private stakeholders and policy makers, including those from the Lao Department of Industry and Handicrafts, Department of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion, MOIC, the National University of Laos and ERIT.
The workshop produced consensus that more data on domestic raw material, the silk weaver (labor) movement and silk-village development must be collected.
A policy brief, produced as a result of the research findings, was shared among participants at the workshop for further recommendation. This policy brief, and the main comments and recommendations offered during the workshop, will be consolidated for use during the revision-phase of the research reports by the national researchers.