The Lao PDR still numbers among the world’s least developed countries. A landlocked, mountainous country, infrastructure remains inadequate and the work force is largely unskilled. A third of the population lives below the poverty line. However, the Lao PDR possesses an abundance of natural resources including minerals, a largely unspoilt tropical forest, and significant hydro-electric power potential.   

While there remains a reliance on the mining and hydropower sectors, service industries such as tourism have grown rapidly in recent years and offer significant income-generation and inclusive growth opportunities for local people. 
Many see the young workforce as holding the potential for a future economic growth. However, this workforce must be supported towards improved health, quality education, and decent employment outcomes if this ‘demographic dividend’ is to be realised.
about laos

Country Facts 

  • Area: 236 800 km²
  • Population: 7 million
  • Capital: Vientiane

Swisscontact in Laos

  • since 2013


Benin, Bolivia, Cambodia, Kosovo, Laos, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Senior Expert Contact
Promoting entrepreneurship through expertise - Imparting technical skills through volunteer work Through their services, Senior Expert Contact (SEC) experts provide hands-on, direct support to companies and institutions in their efforts to grow.
Initial vocational education and training
Vocational Training and Employment Support Services in Laos
VTESS will be an important vehicle to support the build-up and strengthening of an inclusive vocational education and training system in Laos. The focus will be on the strengthening of the Integrated Vocational and Education Training (IVET) pathway in order to facilitate the school to work transition of early school leavers, to provide them with...
Sustainable tourism, Initial vocational education and training
Pheun Than Heng A Sip Training Programme
The tourism and hospitality sector in Lao PDR has expanded rapidly in recent years and the trend is set to continue. Tourism and hospitality services often drive revenues for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs), particularly in rural areas, which in turn can provide the livelihood for people from poor backgrounds. However, often...
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam
Agroecology and Safe Food System Transitions in Southeast Asia (ASSET)
The Agroecology and Safe food System Transitions (ASSET) project is a regional project funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Union (EU), and the Fond Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM) over five years from 2020 to 2025 in four targeted countries: Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The overall objective is to harness the potential of agroecology to transform food and agricultural systems into more sustainable systems, notably safer, more equitable and inclusive, in the Southeast Asia region. Coordinated by GRET in a strong articulation with CIRAD, in charge of the scientific coordination, the project will mobilise the expertise of 27 national, European and International partners, from research institutions, universities, NGOs, UN agencies, Ministries of Agriculture of the four countries.
Green cities
Waste to Value
The project will seek to support better waste segregation practices at source, introduce more efficient use of resources in production and consumption, develop a larger network of those engaged in circular economy practices, commercialise innovative green products and services available to the market, and improve public-private partnerships that support environmental responsibility. 


Sustainable tourism
Mrs. Latdaphone Vongkhamheng joined the 5th Advances in Destination Management (ADM), in Sweden
From 08 – 10 June 2022, Mrs. Latdaphone Vongkhamheng, the Swisscontact in Lao PDR staff joined the 5th Advances in Destination Management (ADM) conference that was organized in Kalmar Campus, Sweden.
Green cities
Joint efforts on environmental issues
To begin collaborative efforts on environmental issues in the service sector, the Waste to Value Project (W2V) implemented under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the Lao Hotel and Restaurant Association (LHRA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement on May 27, 2022. 
Initial vocational education and training, Labour market insertion
Project Steering Committee Meeting was conducted by VTESS project and public stakeholders
Mr. Nouphanh Outsa, Director General of DTVET/MoES, and Mr. Christian Engler, Deputy Director for Cooperation of SDC, co-chaired the meeting on May 10th, 2022. The meeting was held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Vientiane and was attended by more than 70 people from the project's five provinces, both at the central and provincial levels. Covid preventive measures have been implemented. Three people joined the discussion over the internet. The meeting's goal was to present and discuss project progress in 2021 and the 2022 plan, as well as to approve the project report and plan.

The meeting's goal was to present and discuss project progress in 2021 and the 2022 plan, as well as to approve the project report and plan. The report and strategy were delivered by the VTESS Team Leader and the Component Managers. In addition, the results of the Project's Mid-Term Review (MTR) were presented and evaluated. Because of Covid, the MTR was delayed. The MTR was commissioned by SDC and done on Nils Gardek and Sunnti Duangtavanh from January to March 2022, who also presented the findings at the meeting. The Project commissioned Laos Social Research to conduct a tracer study for C1 graduates from the first training batch (LSR). The study took place from September to November of 2021 - the findings of which were also presented and discussed during the meeting.
Country Director
Michael Fink


Green Cities: Waste to Value seeks to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the service sector to adopt green products and practices and improve their access to better waste management services at the same time providing improved business opportunities for informal waste pickers. The project will develop a larger network of those engaged in circular economy practices, commercialize innovative green products and services available to the market, and improve public-private partnerships that support environmental responsibility.

Skills development:  The Pheun Than Heng A Sip Training Programme supports micro, small and medium enterprises in the hospitality sector to gain access to skills training for their staff and provides people from disadvantaged background with access to opportunities in the labor market through short-term trainings and internships.

The Vocational Training and Employment Support Services project strengthens partners schools in offering the Integrated Vocational and Education Training (IVET) pathway and introduces Employment Support Services (ESS) through an innovative coaching approach. This provides disadvantaged groups with options for productive employment (wage and self-employment) and the opportunity to enroll in further education and training.

The abilities and readiness for action of our employees are decisive for our projects’ ability to achieve sustainable impact, as well as our long-term success. As an attractive employer, Swisscontact invests in a positive management and work culture. This is defined by our fundamental understanding of development intended to serve not only our beneficiaries in project countries but our employees as well.
Swisscontact’s core business is the implementation of projects funded by bilateral, multi-lateral and private sector donors. 
The objective of Swisscontact’s work is to open up pathways out of poverty for people in developing countries through broad-based economic development projects.

Motivated and productive employees with initiative constitute the most important success factor in all areas of our work. We count on motivated individuals who are looking to the future, impact- and team-oriented, and want to work in international development cooperation.
Media Reports
We promote inclusive economic, social and ecological development to make an effective contribution towards sustainable and widespread prosperity in developing and emerging economies. 
Project Publication
To learn more about Swisscontact project work.
Project Resources


Swisscontact in Laos

3rd floor, 108 Hill Building,49 Dongpaina
Ban Saphanthong Neua 
Sisattanak District Vientiane Capital