Vientiane, 22 November – 19 December 2007



1.                  The Skill Training on Wood Carving for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic was a one-month training programme contrived for 18 Lao craftsmen. The said programme was held in Vientiane, the Lao PDR, commenced on 22 November 2007 and concluded on 19 December 2007.

2.                  The Training was organised in close collaboration between the Non Aligned Movement Centre for South-South Technical Cooperation (NAM CSSTC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. It was convened, notably for the first time, to respond the Lao Government’s proposal which was conveyed personally by its Deputy Prime Minister to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia requesting for Indonesia’s technical assistance in developing the wood carving manufacture in Lao. NAM CSSTC welcomed this opportunity and supported the necessary arrangement to realise the initiative.



3.                  The Training was devised to develop better knowledge and skills of the Lao craftsmen in wood carving. Having completed the Training, participants are expected to have comprehensive skilfulness on technique and process of planning, producing, and marketing the wood carving handicrafts.

4.                  To meet the abovementioned objective, NAM CSSTC in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs assigned 2 extended trainers from Jepara, Central Java, Indonesia, in order to bring the knowledge and expertise of Indonesia’s long tradition in wood carving and eventually boost the trainees’ skills in this field of artistry. 

5.                  During the Training, participants had learned to try their hand at traditional wood carving of Jepara, including the wide range of techniques, patterns and ideas behind this particular form of art. It is expected that through this Training participants will have new experiences and ideas that might be beneficial to their future career in wood carving manufacture.

6.            On the sidelines of his working visit to Lao for the Indonesia-Lao Joint Commission, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Hassan Wirajuda, availed himself to the opportunity to observe the Training on 17 December 2007.



7.                  To officially close the Training and to discuss with the relevant agencies on how to further enhance the bilateral technical cooperation between Indonesia and Lao, NAM CSSTC and Department of Foreign Affairs made a working visit to Lao from 17-19 December 2007.

8.                  During such visit, NAM CSSTC and DFA met with relevant officials from Lao Ministry of Education, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and also Committee of Planning and Investment, and met separately with the Head of the Lao Furniture Association who was responsible for the implementation of the Training.

9.                  Following were the discussion and outcome of the Meeting:

·        The Meeting shared the view that the Training was a constructive undertaking for the Lao craftsmen in enhancing their skill in wood carving particularly in advancing their creativeness to develop the local wood carving pattern;

·        The Meeting also noted that the Participants obtained valuable knowledge from the Trainers on the business-related skills in wood carving craftsmanship, another must-have quality that the craftsmen specialised in wood carving handiwork should have;

·        The Meeting noted Lao great potential in wood carving manufacturing that needs to be further developed proficiently, bearing in mind that Lao owns an enormous stockpile of raw material for wood carving manufacturing, relatively low-wage human resources, prospective domestic market that is still widely open to physical development, and the fact that Lao would be hosting the forthcoming Sea Games in 2009. By way of improving the quality of its wood carving products, it is expected that wood carving products from Lao would be mostly welcome by the international market;

·        To support the above initiative, it is necessary to encourage Indonesian investors that may have interests in the area of wood carving to run joint ventures with Lao manufacturers;    

·        As a follow up to the Training and to realise both sides commitment to increase bilateral cooperation, Indonesia would invite the top-three most excellent participants to further improve their skill by partaking in a special training held at the Carving School in Jepara. Afterwards, the three participants are expected to be able to train the local craftsmen in Lao (Training of Trainees). In this connection, it is deemed appropriate to involve GTZ which to this end has been actively play a part in the promotion of Wood Carving Centres both in Jepara and Lao;

·        The Meeting noted that Indonesia and Lao have great potential for further developing their economic and cultural ties. The Meeting was also of the view that while technical cooperation in the field of wood carving had been well developed, there should be a need to also look into how to enhance cooperation and relations at other areas of technical cooperation;  

·        In light of the above, the Lao side had indicated its interest to pursue and to explore other possible areas of technical cooperation. It had also requested Indonesia for providing the Lao with adequate training and capacity building programme particularly in areas that are correspond to Indonesia’s capacities;  

·        The Lao side had also requested that Indonesia’s technical assistance could include scholarships in various areas for the young people of Lao;  

·        The Meeting also indicated both sides interest to establish “Lao-Indo” as a mechanism that would house all forms of cooperation among the two Countries, either cooperation between governments (G-to-G) or between private sectors (P-to-P). 


10.             Indonesia affirms its strong commitment in contributing to the development of its neighbouring Countries, especially in accelerating the economic development of the new ASEAN Member Countries including the Lao PDR. In this regard, the opportunity for fostering bilateral technical cooperation in various fields, particularly cooperation in wood carving, should be carefully managed and fully utilised. Such technical cooperation should be conducted under the framework of Indonesia-Lao Joint Commission which will be further implemented in the grass-root level by private sectors.

11.             NAM CSSTC noted the Department of Foreign Affairs initiative to hold inter-agencies meeting in the near future, engaging Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Indonesia Furniture Association and other relevant agencies, to discuss on how to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Lao.

12.             NAM CSSTC resolves to fortify national capacities of other developing countries in diverse areas and stands ready to cooperate with the Non Aligned Movement Member Countries in providing technical assistance especially in providing technical skill and experts/trainers.