Laos-Singapore centre expands cooperation with NGO partners

Mr Thongphan Savanphet (left) and Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman shake hands at the official ceremony for the opening of the renovated Laos-Singapore Cooperation Centre on Monday.

LAO PDR (Vientiane Times) - The Laos-Singapore Cooperation Centre (LSCC) will explore cooperation opportunities with potential partners for a joint English training programme and to provide more targeted training courses to Lao government agencies.

Singapore’s Ambassador to Laos, Mr Dominic Goh, delivered this message at an official ceremony for the opening of the renovated LSCC held in Vientiane on Monday.

Mr Goh said the centre is working with the Singaporean NGO, Radion International, to organise a workshop on child protection and development next month, and with other NGOs, including Singapore Red Cross and Singapore International Foundation, to collaborate on a disaster risk reduction workshop and education training programmes. The LSCC began operations in January this year, while the official opening ceremony for the centre was held on Monday.

The event was attended by the Lao Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Thongphan Savanphet, and Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohamad Mal-iki bin Osman. “The centre aims to support Singapore entities to delivery their capacity building programmes in Laos,” Mr Goh said. In addition, the Initiative for Asean Integration (IAI) was launched in 2000 to narrow the development gap of newer Asean member states, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).

To date, about 38,000 officials from CLMV states have participated in classroomstyle courses at IAI training centres. As part of Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship deliverables and the next phase of contributions to the IAI, Singapore has upgraded three of these training centres as Singapore Cooperation Centres (SCCs) and is in the process of enhancing the last centre in Myanmar. According to the Singapore Embassy, the development needs of Laos have evolved since the IAI began.

At the same time, more Singaporean entities are involved in capacity building programmes in Laos. The LSCC serves as an integrated platform for Singapore to coordinate and deliver development assistance holistically. To date, the LSCC has trained more than 13,000 Lao government officials under IAI and other training programmes of the Singapore Cooperation Programme.

To support IAI and to promote bilateral ties, LSCC will facilitate a wider range of development projects, such as education and healthcare services and humanitarian assistance. It will also partner with a greater variety of reputable private and public sector entities, such as Singapore Red Cross, Singapore International Foundation and Radion International. Students from Temasek Polytechnic School of Design designed the branding and interior spaces of LSCC. The logo and design cues reflect multiculturalism, progress, cooperation and unity.