Policy Brief

Leveraging Geo-Economic Proximity and Agricultural Commercialisation

The purpose of this research brief is to synthesize the f ndings of ten policy research studies conducted by NAFRI’s Policy Think Tank (PTT) research team between 2016 and 2020, and complementary research studies. The research was related to commercialisation of agricultural products in Lao PDR.

Unlocking the full potential of Lao PDR’s tea sector

Tea plants are native to East Asia and evidence of tea consumption in China goes back to the 2nd century BC. In Laos, tea was presumably cultivated and traded as early as the 7th century (Earth Systems, 2016). Forest tea, which includes both ancient and wild tea1, has been grown in Northern Laos for centuries (Marseille, 1990). In the 1920s, the French brought tea from Vietnam to cultivate on the Bolaven plateau and recognized the quality of wild forest teas from Xieng Khouang (Pedersen et al., 2016).

MARD-VIET NAM Briefing Report August, 2020

VIET NAM - Accumulated to August 25, 2020, the Ministry has completed 57 tasks (8 overdue tasks) out of 168 assigned tasks, the remaining 111 tasks are being implemented within the assigned time; Answering to 129 questions proposed by voters before the 9th Session, XIV National Assembly. Submitted to the Government, the Prime Minister issued 06 Decrees, 01 Decision, 09 Circulars; simplified 15/34 administrative procedures, reached 44.11%; Cost savings: VND 77.4 billion/year, reached the cost-cutting ratio: 72.80%...

MARD-VIETNAM Briefing Report July, 2020

VIET NAM - In July, although the Central Highlands and the South region were in the rainy season, the agricultural, forestry and fishery production had to cope with various difficulties such as natural disasters, floods, droughts...; The COVID-19 situation in the world was still complicated, especially in countries with important trade relations with Vietnam. However, agricultural production still followed the planned progress, forestry and fishery production gradually restored. Exports regained growth momentum. Some specific results are as follows:

Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in the ASEAN Region: Responding to Food Security and Inclusiveness Concerns

The back-to-back workshops form part of the technical assistance for planning and development component of the Agricultural Transformation and Market Integration in the ASEAN Region: Responding to Food Security and Inclusiveness Concerns (ATMI ASEAN) Project, which is jointly implemented by (SEARCA) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Initiated in 2016, the (ATMI- ASEAN) Project aims to strengthen the capacity of ASEAN member states in developing policies and programs to improve the state of small holder farm sector vis-à-vis the agricultural transformation and market integration being driven by the ongoing ASEAN integration.

Agricultural Trade Facilitation in the Greater Mekong Subregion

The main focus of agricultural trade facilitation is on the procedures that such trade undergoes in moving from the country of origin to the country of destination. Many, if not most of these procedures, are bureaucratic in nature involving papers and documents required for the traded products to be cleared and released to consignee (or loaded on the transport facility in case of exports). This follows the general meaning of trade facilitation as defined by the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as “…simplification and harmonisation of international trade procedures that include activities, practices and formalities related to the collection, presentation, communication and processing of data required for the movement of goods…”1 Traditionally, this was confined to the processes and procedures at the borders, but with the expanded and more integrated logistics approach this has encompassed behind-the-border processes and procedures on both the production and consumption sides.

Core Environment Program Strategic Framework and Action Plan 2018-2022

Environment ministers from the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) endorsed the Core Environment Program (CEP) Strategic Framework and Action Plan 2018-2022 in Chiang Mai in February 2018. The program, which was launched in 2006 and administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is embarking on its third phase. The new 5-year environment strategy will focus on green technologies and sustainable infrastructure, natural resources and ecosystem services, and climate resilience and disaster risk management. Within each of these priority areas the CEP will support three types of interventions that influence the investment project cycle: investment preparation and financing, knowledge management and technology uptake, and policy and strategic planning. These interventions will leverage the program's competencies on developing and supporting investment projects (such as the Biodiversity Conservation Corridors project, Green Freight Initiative, and Climate Friendly Agri-Business Value Chain).

Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)

Twenty-five years of cooperation under the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program have witnessed the evolving cooperation and partnership among the six countries that share the Mekong River. In 1992, Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam established the GMS Economic Cooperation Program and requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for support. It was not until 2002 that the Building on Success: A Strategic Framework for the Next Ten Years of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program (GMS SF-I) was adopted covering the period 2002–2012. It was succeeded by the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2012–2022 (GMS SF-II), for which a midterm review (MTR) has been conducted. This Ha Noi Action Plan 2018–2022 (HAP) reflects the GMS Program’s agenda for the remaining 5 years of GMS SF-II based on the findings of the MTR, as well as the new thrusts and operational priorities of sector strategies. It builds on past achievements and lessons learned, and charts the way forward to address the emerging development challenges through regional cooperation.

Initiative for ASEAN Integration

Policy Recommendations for Narrowing the Development Gap in ASEAN

Project Development & Facilitation Framework: Opportunities in Trade & Investment for India in CLMV Countries