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EBA Engagement Workshop Lao PDR 

16th and 17th September 2021, 14:30-17:00 Vientiane time (GMT+7)
Vientiane, Lao PDR
Virtual participation through Zoom, please register below.

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The workshop is dedicated to supporting Lao stakeholders from the business sector, public officials as well as civil society to maximise the benefits of the 'Everything But Arms' (EBA), which is part of the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The event will raise awareness of EBA benefits and provide a forum to discuss how Lao stakeholders can further leverage the advantages of the arrangement.

Furthermore, the event will introduce participants to the GSP+ as an opportunity to maintain preferential access to the EU market after LDC graduation. EU imports from Lao PDR have steadily increased in the last decade and amounted to EUR 307 million in 2020. About 80% of exports from Lao PDR are eligible for EBA preferences and the country takes great advantage of the preferential access to the EU market, the preference utilisation rate most recently stood at 94.5%. The most important product sections which are exported using EBA preferences are clothing (51%), prepared foodstuffs (14%), and footwear/headgear (9%).

Register here

 

Programme

all times indicated in Vientiane time (GMT+7)

Day 1: 16 September 2021- Leveraging Trade Opportunities under the EU's 'Everything But Arms'
14:30 - 15:00 Opening Session
  • Keynote and welcome - H.E. Ms Ina Marčiulionytė, EU Ambassador to Lao PDR 
  • Keynote and welcome - H.E. Mr Khampheng Xaysompheng, Minister of Industry and Commerce
  • Introduction to the GSP Hub Project - Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub Project
15:00 - 16:55 Leveraging Trade Opportunities under the EU's 'Everything But Arms'
  • 15:00 Introductory remarks
    • Ms Vidya Nathaniel, Trade Policy Consultant at the International Trade Centre
       
  • 15:05 Input talk: Export potential of Lao products on the EU market.
    • Dr Julia Spies, Head of Trade Data, Tools, and Analysis, International Trade Centre 
       
  • 15:25 Input talk: Opportunities of sustainable agricultural products
    • Mr Laurent Lourdais, Counsellor, Agriculture, SPS, Environment, Delegation of the European Union to Thailand
       
  • 15:45 Q&A with participants
     
  • 16:00 Panel Discussion: Leveraging the potential of EBA preferences
    moderated by Dr Willem van der Geest, followed by Q&A with participants
    • Mr Somphone Phady, Deputy Director of Trade in Goods Division, Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Ministry of Industry and Commerce 
    • Mr Peter Fogde, President, European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lao PDR
    • Mr Poul Skov Petersen, Senior Administration Manager, Mascot International (Lao) Sole Co., Ltd 

This session will focus on EBA preferences and on the question how Lao PDR could further leverage the benefits and opportunities the EBA provides. As part of this session, speakers will highlight products with potential on the EU market as well as ways to overcome existing impediments or challenges leading to underutilisation of preferences in certain product sections.

 

Day 2: 17 September 2021 - Trade with the EU after LDC graduation- Opportunities under the GSP+
15:00 - 16:30 Trade with the EU after LDC graduation- Opportunities under the GSP+
  • 15:00 Welcome and introduction
    • Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub Project
       
  • 15:05 Input talk: What is the EU’s GSP+, its opportunities and requirements? with Q&A session
    • Ms Kristiyana Kalcheva, Policy Officer, Generalised Scheme of Preferences, DG Trade, European Commission
       
  • 15:30 Input talk: GSP+ Business Focus: Implications and opportunities for Lao exporters. with Q&A session
    • Mr Christophe Fontaine, International Relations Officer - Preferential origin - General, GSP, Asia and Oceania, DG TAXUD, European Commission
    • Ms Marianna Molnar, Policy Officer - Trade aspects of rules of origin, DG TRADE,  European Commission
       
  • 16:00 Input talk: The GSP+ and international values- meeting the eligibility criteria for GSP+ accession. with Q&A session
    • Mr Graeme Buckley, Director of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific and ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR

This session will take a more forward-looking perspective, focussing on how the trade relationship between the EU and Lao PDR could be structured following LDC graduation. The GSP+ provides the opportunity to maintain preferential access to the EU market and to facilitate sustainable development and economic growth domestically.

16:30 - 17:00 Closing Session

with closing remarks by

  • Mr Itthilith NGANGNOUVONG, Deputy Director General , Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Lao PDR
  • Mr Petros Sourmelis, Head of Trade and Economic Section, Delegation of the European Union to Thailand

 

Register here

If you have any questions please contact us here: contact@gsphub.eu