Program Lao & WTO Accession (October 2009)

October 2009 : Project Evaluation "Lao PDR WTO Accession Support"

Organisation: RONGEAD
Country: Geneva Lao PDR
Proportion carried out by candidate: 0 %
Number of staff provided: 1
Name of client: SECO (Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs)
Origin of funding: SECO (Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs)
Name of partner(s): IDEAS Centre Geneva

Detailed description of project :

Introduction :
Lao PDR is the last country in South-East Asia (and the only ASEAN member) that is not a member of the WTO, but has seen seeking membership since 1997. The process moved beyond its initial stages in November 2006 with the Second formal meeting considering Lao’s application for Membership.
From SECO side, Lao PDR received first technical assistance under the third Phase of the Viet Nam WTO Accession Project (2005-2006) implemented by IDEAS Centre, Geneva, a privately constituted, independent nonprofit association. It was agreed that the expertise gained from the Viet Nam should be used in the regional context to assist Lao PDR. In this context, IDEAS Centre became a "trusted advisor" of the Foreign Trade Policy Division (FTPD) of the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC), which is responsible for Lao’s WTO Accession negotiations.

The project "Lao PDR Accession Support" 2007-2010 is therefore to be seen as consequence of the previous efforts that enabled to revitalize the long time almost inactive WTO accession process. The overall objective of the project is to facilitate and accelerate Lao PDR’s accession to WTO through the provision of international level policy advice and negotiating strategy. Globally, the activities can be described as providing support on both substance - through analysis on what reform should be undertaken to meet WTO treaty obligations and advice on negotiated marked access commitments - and on process - through support on ensuring coordination and coherence among the many "chapters" of the accession process.

Objectives :

  • The first purpose was related to « accountability » (development results) : the evaluation has assessed the outcomes and the outputs of the project so far - if possible their impact and the return on investment of the financial assistance provided by SECO to Lao PDR.
  • The second purpose was related to "lessons earned" : the evaluation has drawn from the experience developed by the project to provide guidance to the parties - and in particular to the beneficiary countries - about the key conditions and the more appropriate and efficient manner for ensuring continuity and sustainability of the results achieved.
  • The third purpose was related to the identification of possibilities and appropriate approaches for a potential continuation of the support to the government of Lao PDR in the final stages of the WTO accession process.

Type of services provided :

  • Evaluation mission on the field
  • Redaction of a report

To download :

       Project summary LAO.10.09 (PDF : 76.7 kb)

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