(For the Japanese version of this article)

Study Mission on the Food Product and Handicraft Industries in Laos [November 15-22, 2011]

Study Mission on the Food Product and Handicraft Industries in Laos


IIST conducted a field survey on handicraft and food products in Laos on the theme of "industrial development utilizing local resources." The study team visited the Laos Handicraft Festivaland various food processing companies, silk goods and handicraft factories, among others
Through these visits and opinion exchanges , the team identified potential of these products.

Dates: November 15 - 22, 2011
Organized by: Institute for International Studies and Training (IIST)

Dispatched Experts

-Setsuko Okura
President, OSMIC Ltd (handicraft)
-Yoshihiro Araki
Director in charge of ASEAN Industries Integration, Overseas Research Department
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)(food product)

Visited place

Ministry of Industry and Commerce, food processing companies, hand weavings and handicraft factories, agricultural corporation, rural-village supporting NGOs, JICA ODOP Pilot Project, Laos Handicraft Festival, etc.


Although Laosis a landlocked country in the Mekong region with no sea ports, the development of the East-West Economic Corridor and national highways reduces disadvantage in international trade. In the southern part of the country, which was surveyed this time, investment by Thai and Vietnamese companies is striking. In these circumstances, Japanese companies are stepping up their operations as well. For example, a leading Japanese trading company is exporting organic coffee from the Bolaven Plateau to Japan via Vietnam; a Japanese agricultural corporation based in Thailand is exporting green bean plants and other agricultural products cultivated on its farm in the Bolaven Plateau to Japan via Thailand; and a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company is engaging in the full-fledged operation of medicinal plant cultivation in Saravanh Province. In the field of handicrafts, a project to support the export of lao handicrafts to Japan, implemented by the cooperation of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and JICA's One District One Product (ODOP) Pilot Project is bearing fruits. Some textile factories, although small, produce silk goods of high quality and design that could be successful in the Japanese, European, and US markets. They depend heavily on imports for raw materials, however, and the mass production of high value added products is difficult. From the perspective of promoting export industries, therefore, it can generally be said that food processing has greater potential.

Visit to the Dau Heuang Coffee plant

Visit to the Dau Heuang Coffee plant

The ODOP booth at the Laos Handicraft Festival

The ODOP booth at the Laos Handicraft Festival

Related article

IIST e-Magazine No.0203-0829 Identifying potentials of Lao Food and Handicraft

International Exchange Dept.

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