Working with your Lao Partner has been borrowed in large part from a series of guides prepared by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  CIDA believed there was a real need for guides for Canadians to assist them in developing effective working relationships, one of the most challenging and critically important aspects of their overseas experience.  The CIDA guide in turn was modelled after Thais Do Business the Thai Way, which was produced by the SVITA Foundation of Bangkok for CIDA.
Working with your Lao Partner is meant for international consultants who work with Lao officials in an international development, business or official capacity.  It offers practical advice on forming partnerships and alliances based on trust, understanding and effective communication.
A word about the word Lao: Depending on its context, "Lao" may refer to the Lao people, the Lao language, or the country, Lao PDR. Its meaning, like many words in the Lao language, is contextual and this book provides an introduction to its many contexts.
This booklet was prepared by Bob Boase, Principal Consultant to the UNDP Public Administration Reform Project in the Lao PDR.  Mr. Boase would like to thank the many collaborators in the preparation of this guide in particular Jan Mattsson, Bounpheng Aphay, Beate Pinisch, Russell Sunshine, Linda Ehrichs and Art Chrisfield.  Particular thanks are due to Mr. Anoulom Souvandouane for the fine Lao illustrations.
We welcome your comments, suggestions and insights for subsequent editions. Please write to us or send us a facsimile message. We hope your stay in the Lao PDR is as rewarding as mine has been.
Bob Boase
August 1997, Vientiane


Foreword | Lao PDR | Introduction | What is a Partnership? | Working with a Lao Partner

Understanding Lao Culture | Communication | Working Effectively with Your Lao Partner
Social Conventions and Protocol | Conclusions