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The global bamboo industry lead by China is seeing an immense growth and it is expected that this will continue even further. Lao PDR has opened its boundaries to the market economy and is promoting …
The global bamboo industry lead by China is seeing an immense growth and it is expected that this will continue even further. Lao PDR has opened its boundaries to the market economy and is promoting itself as being on the crossroads of trade between China and Southeast Asia. Although policy reforms are continuing, doing business in Laos is still a challenge for the private sector. Houaphanh a poor and remote province possesses extensive bamboo resources but is not benefiting from the bamboo business in neighbouring Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam or elsewhere. A bamboo value chain analysis demonstrated that there is potential for Houaphanh to develop its bamboo handicrafts, semi-processed products and raw materials. The bamboo sub-sector in Houaphanh is undeveloped due to a lacking enabling environment to stimulate the private sector to invest in the province. Capacity of government staff to tackle reforms and necessary insights to promote and develop marketable products is limited. Consequently private sector and poor communities have few incentives to sustainable manage and gain from trading bamboo resources. SNV builds the capacity of key actors in and around the value chain to enhance their performance in realising poverty reduction. In the bamboo value chain improvements in three key areas are made: 1. Knowledge brokering to improve the business environment; 2. Handicraft promotion and development, and 3. Piloting pro-poor business models. Through action learning, with the participation of all actors in the bamboo value chain, lessons from the field are shared to build capacity and awareness to achieve sustainable poverty alleviation by developing the private sector.