As U.S. President Barack Obama arrives for his historic trip to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the economic bonds between the United States and Laos continue to grow. On September 5, Microsoft, the Ministry of Education and Sports, and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications agreed to collaborate on an innovative new skill-building program.
The collaboration will help thousands of Lao students and entrepreneurs access training courses via Microsoft’s latest cloud technology on subjects ranging from technology and engineering to accounting and English language. The training is provided, free of charge, by Microsoft to aspiring young Lao who will develop the skills and knowledge they need to compete in an increasingly interconnected ASEAN community.
U.S. Ambassador Daniel A. Clune hosted Michele Simmons, General Manager for New Markets in Microsoft Asia Pacific, Minister Sengduane Lachantaboun of the Ministry of Education and Sports, and Minister Thansamay Kommasith of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to toast this new area of collaboration. Over the past two years, more than 26 million youth took the similar courses, which are already available in 18 other countries, according to Microsoft.
The new agreement comes just as President Barack Obama begins his historic visit to the Lao PDR, the first by American president to the Lao PDR.
The growing private sector collaboration between the United States and Laos is only one face of the growing partnership, which includes development assistance, cultural exchanges, law enforcement collaboration, environmental and energy-related programming, and high-level interaction between the two governments.