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Australia - Lao PDR HRD Partnership Grows

 H.E. Mr Somdy Douangdy, Minister of Planning and Investment and H.E Mr John Williams,

Australian Ambassador to Lao PDR, chaired the first High Level Advisory Council meeting of the Laos Australia Human Resource Development Program on 7 May in Vientiane.

The Program, managed by the Laos Australia Institute (LAI), is a four-year partnership between the Governments of Lao PDR and Australia to help address Laos’ critical human resource development needs.  

Minister Somdy said human resource development was critical for the development of the Lao PDR, especially in the era of greater ASEAN integration.  

“To be economically competitive in the coming years, Laos needs an educated, skilled population. Our social development relies on ensuring young Lao people have access to quality education and training, and jobs in the future,” he said.

Ambassador Williams said Australia and the Lao PDR both saw education and human resource development as vital for economic growth.

“Australia is committed to working with the Lao Government to help build the kind of workforce the Lao economy needs, now and into the future,” he said.

The meeting reflected on the significant progress achieved during the program’s first year, including successful management of the Australia Awards scholarships program, extending the Laos-Australia National Scholarships (LANS) program to Souphanouvong University in Luang Prabang, and revising the curriculum for adult English language learning.

Minister Somdy and Ambassador Williams announced a new program to be delivered through the LAI, which will provide training in human resource management to around 70 officials from key Lao Government agencies.

“This exciting new initiative will deliver Australian qualifications to Lao Government HR managers through on-the-job training modules,” Ambassador Williams said.

The LAI, in cooperation with key Lao government agencies, provides support through a range of integrated HRD approaches. This includes the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships and the Laos Australia National Scholarships. These programs are delivered in partnership with Vientiane College, the National University of Laos and Australian tertiary institutions.