Green growth has been a central focus of parliamentarians in Southeast Asia and those observing the proceedings of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in Vientiane – which aimed to create impetus towards sustainable development in the region.

The week-long event finishes today.

“Green growth is a trend the whole world is talking about and seeks as it benefits everyone – ours and the other Asean countries,” said Dr Souvanpheng Bouphanouvon, chairwoman of the Lao National Assembly’s committee on economy, planning and finance.

In the media briefing for the 35th AIPA meeting of the committee on economic matters, which Souvanpheng co-chaired, she explained that developing a green economy was important to every country as it was vital environmental protection was maintained to secure people’s livelihoods.

Souvanpheng said a sustainable way of developing was a very important factor in green growth.

She said several green proposals put forward by Laos were backed by the other countries because they wanted to promote the safe and sustainable use of the region’s shared resources without misappropriating one another’s property.

“We would like to promote a cooperation mechanism in Asean concerning the use and protection of natural resources such as land, water, mines, forests and energy,” Souvanpheng said.

She spoke about the initiative for the establishment of a green development centre within Asean, which she said had been under discussion for many years but was now going to happen as it had received the support of all the parties at the meeting.

She said the centre aimed to facilitate joint efforts in studying and using green technology – an essential need for Laos, which required the assistance of other Asean countries and development partners to tap this technology.

Promoting the development of entrepreneurship was also discussed at the assembly in an effort to narrow development gaps in Asean.

Souvanpheng said that despite the initiative having been talked about in theory in the past, it had not been implemented.

She said Laos had called on the other countries to help new member countries in Asean with entrepreneurship development, especially to find funding sources for the programme’s implementation.

She labelled the assembly a success as it had defined cooperation with regards to Asean frameworks.

Fostering green growth and promoting the development of entrepreneurship were the only topics raised at the meeting. –Vientiane Times