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.
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
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. 
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...
Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs
The Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs (RISE) Platform is a USAID funded, Swisscontact implemented platform that provides business development support (BDS) services and technical assistance (TA) to companies with potential for impact in Southeast Asia. RISE aims to create impact for the base of the pyramid through providing inclusive...
Sustainable tourism, Initial vocational education and training
Pheun Than Heng A SipTraining 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...


Labour market insertion
Phiala’s Journey - Hospitality training in Laos
For Phiala Shaecao, a young woman from a farming family in the rural village of Somsavath, thirty kilometres outside of Vangvieng, a tourist-oriented town about four hours north of Lao PDR’s capital, the idea of being employed by a hotel seemed far-fetched. 
2nd Steering Committee Meeting for VTESS Project
Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation (Swisscontact) holds 2nd Steering Committee Meeting for the Vocational Training and Employment Support Services (VTESS) project
Southern Laos Stakeholders Tackle Environmental Issues at Tourism Sites
The ‘Save Green, Clean Southern Laos’ event was organised at Phou Salao Temple, Pakse, to promote environmental responsibility under an initiative of the Southern Laos Tourism Marketing Task Force (MTF)
Country Director Laos
Michael Fink


SME promotion: The Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Programme (MIGIP) is contributing to poverty reduction through work and income generation opportunities in tourism, specifically in  strengthening institutions, structures, and processes in destination management. To this end, the project analyses tourism visitor flows in order to then offer new products and services targeted to specific tourist segments. The project is developing regional brands through marketing strategies. 

Skills development:  The Pheun Than Heng A Sip initiative focuses on up-skilling of entry-level workers and labour-market insertion of disadvantaged groups into the hospitality sector.  The training comprises of over 160 training units, each designed to address the issue of low service quality in tourism and hospitality businesses. Swisscontact originally developed the programme in partnership with the Lao National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality.

The Vocational Training and Employment Support Services project strengthens the Integrated Vocational and Education Training pathway and establishes Employment Support Services in Laos. The major focus is to facilitate the school to work transition of early school leavers, in order to provide them with options for productive employment (wage and self-employment) and the opportunity to enroll in further education and training.  

Swisscontact’s core business is the implementation of projects funded by bilateral, multi-lateral and private sector donors. 
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. 
To learn more about Swisscontact project work.
Tourism Resources
In Champasak the mighty Mekong River is at its widest, with the tropical 4000 Island region and Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall, Khone Phapheng.


Swisscontact in Laos

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