Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

Govt, stakeholders raise awareness of corporate social responsibility

Vientiane Times, November 10, 2015.

Government officials and stakeholders met in Vientiane yesterday to discuss and promote understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR), especially in the land and natural resources sector. The workshop was chaired by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Khamlien Pholsena.
The meeting was organised by the Investment Promotion Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with the Mekong Region Land Governance Project, Land Issues Working Group and Village Focus International. Dr Khamlien said in his address that private sector investment directly contributes to growth, accounting for US$2.3 billion a year in contributions to national economic development, which is considered a huge amount of money.
“Therefore we must improve the investment environment and attract more investment in all sectors to ensure benefits for government, business and citizens,” he added.
To achieve this goal the ministry considers economic development an important key by focusing on potential resources and international and regional links. To ensure sustainable development and benefits to society as well as individuals, CSR is critical work that the government, business and social civil organisations should implement together, Dr Khamlien said. The objective of the workshop was to improve understanding of the concepts of corporate social responsibility across a wide variety of stakeholders, in particular to improve understanding between different groups and initiate dialogue between business, government and civil society actors. In addition, the workshop aimed to introduce initiatives used by companies and governments to promote the principles of corporate social responsibility and corporate accountability. There was a focus on land-based investment, and models of how companies and civil society organisations interact with the communities in which they operate were introduced, as was the Asean Social Economic blueprint CSR network.

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