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ANZBA seminar encourages responsible business practices in Laos

(KPL) Members of the business community in Laos were given expert advice on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at a seminar organized in Vientiane on 24 November.

The event was organized by ANZBA, the Australia New Zealand Business Association in Laos, with support from the Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI), a joint project by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

H.E Mr Bounthavy Sisouphanthong, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, gave the opening address at the seminar. A number of CSR specialists flew in from around the region for the event. Presentations covered a range of topics, including the benefits of CSR, the implementation of effective programs on a limited budget, and reviews of current CSR initiatives in China and Laos.

Guest speakers from UNDP and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) discussed partnerships between businesses and development agencies or the not-for-profit sector.

Representatives from ANZ bank, MMG LXML Sepon, Phu Bia Mining, and the tourism and garment manufacturing industries in Laos, shared a variety of lessons learned from implementing CSR initiatives in the past.

Richard Taylor, ANZBA President, said that the event had been organized in order to share best practices with the business community in Laos. "CSR already brings tangible benefits both to Laos and to the companies who are implementing it. We want more companies to see that CSR is mutually beneficial and to consider introducing their own programs. This seminar is one of the ways in which ANZBA is facilitating that process," he said.

ANZBA has over 70 members and represents some 45 businesses with operations in the Lao PDR. The Association provides business advocacy, market information, introductory and networking services to members.

 

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