LuxDev’s Regional Office in Vientiane, Laos opened in 2016 to respond to the shifting strategic priorities of Luxembourg Development Cooperation in Southeast Asia. In particular, the relocation of the Regional Office reflects the impending increase of LuxDev operations, including the launch of several new programmes in Laos and the commencement of activities in neighbouring Myanmar. The new Vientiane Regional Office offers LuxDev a central location to manage, monitor and support Luxembourg development efforts in Laos and the two neighbouring countries – Myanmar and Vietnam. The Regional Office operates in close coordination with the Luxembourg Embassy, which is located in the same compound.
In Laos, under the fourth Indicative Cooperation Programme (ICP) between Laos and Luxembourg, LuxDev currently operates in the sectors of Health, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), as well as Local Development. With an indicative allocation of 60 million EUR, the main objective of ICP IV is to contribute to poverty reduction in Laos and to support efforts of the Lao government in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on assisting the most vulnerable groups and populations in poor and remote areas. Bilateral cooperation constitutes the main implementation modality of the ICP IV, entailing a significant role for LuxDev, which implements the majority of Luxembourg’s bilateral development assistance. LuxDev continues to implement the Health Sector Support Programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. In terms of TVET, LuxDev is the implementing agency for the joint Luxembourg-Swiss initiative in support of skills development in the tourism sector. Local development continues to be supported by LuxDev under the village-level implementation modality successfully developed under ICP III in cooperation with Lao authorities. In regards to capacity development, LuxDev is currently supporting the Division of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Planning and Investment and will also launch a new project to continue supporting the rule of law and governance in Laos. The various programmes and projects collectively aim to achieve sustainable structural change by offering technical assistance to Lao authorities in implementing institutional reforms as well as complementary infrastructure and service development activities at the national, provincial, district and village levels.
Current development assistance activities in Vietnam continue to follow the framework of the ICP 2011-2015 between Luxembourg and Vietnam, for an indicative budget of 42 million EUR. Though development cooperation between Luxembourg and Vietnam no longer falls within the framework of an active ICP as the latter has demonstrated significant progress over preceding decades, a significant portion remains to be implemented over ensuing years. As such, LuxDev maintains a country office in Hanoi to manage its ongoing and future programmes in Vietnam. These activities continue to emphasise sustainable poverty reduction via healthcare, local development and vocational training initiatives. They also focus on a transition in the nature of support from poverty alleviation to economic development via assistance towards the banking and finance sector. In addition, LuxDev developed several innovative projects that are diversifying LuxDev’s areas of operation and approaches in Vietnam and beyond. For example, in partnership with the Integrated BioBank Luxembourg (IBBL), LuxDev is implementing a project in the area of medical research. In view of Vietnam’s efforts to become more resilient in the face of climate change, the Luxembourg Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure will support two interventions via the Climate and Energy Fund. The first will concentrate on climate change adaptation and the second seeks to enhance mitigation efforts in the area of public/street lighting.
Since the initiation of operations in Myanmar in 2014, LuxDev started piloting a project in tourism and vocational training, and formulated a local development project drawing from experiences and expertise gained in Laos,Though operations in Myanmar currently remain in nascent stages, LuxDev seeks to further expand its activities in Myanmar over ensuing decades, consistent with the priorities of Luxembourg Development Cooperation.
The Vientiane Regional Office will be instrumental in facilitating knowledge management throughout all concerned sectors in regards to best practices, and will provide support in terms of monitoring, technical backstopping, capacity development, cross-cutting issues, and progress reports relating to the Vientiane Declaration and the Hanoi Core Statement.
For more specific information on activities implemented by LuxDev in the region, please consult the relevant pages dedicated to the programmes and project managed by the Vientiane Regional Office.