The Laos-U.S. International and ASEAN Integration Project (LUNA-Lao)

The Laos-U.S. International and ASEAN Integration Project (LUNA-Lao) supports the Lao Government to modernize and adapt its legal system and economic policies to meet the requirements for joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), implementing the U.S.-Lao PDR Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA), and meeting its obligations under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). By supporting the implementation of these far-reaching international agreements, LUNA-Lao contributes to Lao PDR efforts to advance the rule of law, improve governance, and stimulate broad-based economic growth in line with global best practices and Lao domestic needs.

LUNA-Lao began in 2007, to provide demand-driven technical assistance tailored to the needs of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and a number of other line ministries, as well as the National Assembly. The Project offers a program of analysis, training, dialogue, capacity building, and public awareness on a wide-range of issues related to the trade agreements, including trade in goods and services, intellectual property rights, investment development, transparency, commercial dispute settlement, the right to appeal government decisions, commercial law development and judicial procedures.

The LUNA-Lao Project is part of the joint U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. State Department-funded ADVANCE program that supports ASEAN integration.

The objective of the Lao-United States Support for BTA-WTO-AEC Project (LUNA-Lao Project) is to support the Government of Laos (GOL) to draft, analyze, promulgate and implement the array of legal and economic policy reforms and institutional capacity building needed to accomplish the following objectives:

    - Support the effective implementation of the U.S.-Laos Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA);

    - Support  the timely accession of Laos to the World Trade Organization (WTO);

    - Support Laos to fulfill its commitments to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC); and,

    - More generally, support the long-term development strategy of Laos to sustain strong, broad-based economic development and poverty reduction with strengthened rule of law and governance.

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