Capacity Building Seminar 2013 in Vientiane, Lao PDR (RCEP, Competition Law, Consumer Protection, IPR)
Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Bangkok Research Center (BRC), JETRO Bangkok
The two-day seminar was held at the International Cooperation and Training Center (ICTC KM5), Vientiane on November 21 2013. The seminar focuses on RCEP, Competition Law, Consumer Protection, and IPR. Organized by ERIA and Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and supported by Bangkok Research Center (BRC) JETRO Bangkok the seminar was successfully held.
H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce and Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, Executive Director of ERIA were officially opened the seminar that invited prominent speakers Dr. Leeber Leebouapao, Director General, NERI,Mr. Ikumo Isono, Economist, ERIA, Prof. Shujiro Urata, Senior Research Advisor to the Executive Director of ERIA and Professor, Waseda University, Japan, Mr. Oudeth Souvannavong, Vice President, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), Mr. Fabian Teja Boegershausen, German Management Consultant, Sanet Network in Vietnam, Mr. Saysana Sayakone, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR, Dr. Casey Lee, Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong, Australia, Dr. Vince Eng Teong See, LLB (Hons), Associate Fellow, UMCoRS, Malaysia, Dr. Michael Schaper, Deputy Chairperson, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australia, Mr. Shimpei Yamamoto, Managing Director for Research Affairs, ERIA, Mr. Ratsamy Phanthavong, Deputy Director General, Department of Intellectual Property Rights, Ministry of Science and Technology, Lao PDR, and Mr. Hiroshi Kato, Professor, Nihon University, Japan.
"In the area of competition and consumer protection, there is need to build the capacity and ensure more transparency in all the sectors in Lao PDR inasmuch as these will help boost the economy of Lao PDR. There are many agencies and developed countries interested in helping and supporting Lao PDR enhance its capacity," H.E. Nam Viyaketh further noted. He likewise said that the issue of consumer protection and competition in Lao PDR is still a new issue. Thus, this two-day seminar is very critical in enabling the key players in Lao PDR to learn and understand these issues so as to know what fair competition is and how the consumers would be protected and assured of having high- quality products.
Reiterating the importance of competition policy, meanwhile, Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, Executive Director of ERIA, said in his opening remarks, "Competition policy is an important aspect of ASEAN's vision of regional integration. The formation of a single market and production base is premised upon the notion of competition across markets in the ASEAN Member states."
The seminar is part of a long-term capacity building program initiated in 2008 by the ERIA for the new ASEAN members (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) to help upgrade their efforts in economic integration within the ASEAN.