What is the project about?
This project aims at identifying potential profitable Lao “niche” products to be better market on the domestic and possibly international markets. The ultimate objective will be to substantially raise income for producers, farmers and service providers involved at every stage of the value chains operated by those who join the scheme, benefiting directly from the export.
Special techniques will be adopted to identify 'competitive advantages' of Lao PDR from the point of view of the international consumers, particularly the 'ethical consumer' - a large group of international clients willing to pay premium prices in return for various assurances and product benefits, including ethical guarantees and natural/organic items. Although it will build on previous studies, this project will invoke a new analysis and innovative approach to poverty reduction in Lao PDR.
Several products (tea, rice, coffee, silk-based clothing - among others) and tourism, particularly eco-tourism, have been considered and will be assessed further for how to develop their international appeal to the fullest extent.
Producers and enterprises will market these products to international consumers with higher profit margins with the help of high- quality product development, branding and a specialised sales structure. These products will be marketed under the 'Lao Brand', a presentation featuring and reinforcing the uniqueness of Lao culture with a credible, sustainable and ethical appeal to consumers in Asia, Europe and elsewhere in advanced economies. The 'Lao brand' aims to guarantee fair income and treatment to local communities, including the producers.
The target objective is the creation of a launching pad for the "Lao Brand", bringing inclusive prosperity and development through premium sales. To achieve this, the project will be implemented by and in a close collaboration with the Lao National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LNCCI). This project will build a sustainable foundation upon which larger scale interventions can support the priorities identified in the Government of Lao PDR - UNDP Country Programme Document, as well as help with successful implementation of the 8th five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP 2016- 2020), the aspiration to graduate from the status of a Least Developed Country (LDC) by 2020s’ and eventually ensure progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) until 2030.
- Produce a long-list and an evidence-based prioritized shortlist, of eligible products;
- Analyse, study and select the most appropriate market trends in foreign markets, consumer groups, and the most effective brand messages for those groups;
- Establish the Lao Brand Promotion Facility at the LNCCI: permanent, highly professional marketing management resource for the private sector;
- Establish the structure of export marketing groups in several of the selected sectors, identify appropriate suitable enterprises as members and help them create their plans, quality and responsibility charters, and devise roadmaps for export.
- Duration: September 2017 – December 2019
- Geographic coverage: Nation wide
- Focus area: Poverty reduction
- Implementing partners: Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI)
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