By Viengdavanh Banphahaksa
Asia News Network
The meeting was attended by 20 participants from the Ministry of Health along with six representatives from the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, along with Thai Ambassador Mr Kiattikhun Chartprasert.
The meeting was chaired by the Director General of the Food and Drug Department of the Ministry of Health, Dr Somthavy Changvisommid, and Secretary General of the Thai Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Public Health, Dr Wanchai Sattayawuthipong.
Dr Somthavy told the meeting that Laos imported more than 70 percent of its food and drugs from Thailand, so cooperation was very important for their control to ensure quality and safety for consumers.
According to the Food and Drug Department, the meeting aimed to review the results of initiatives arising from the second meeting, especially food and drug inspections and management. It also continued discussions about future cooperation plans in food and drug management and medical products.
This includes improving coordination between both countries in food and drug safety and other relevant issues as part of the sector's Lao-Thai cooperation plan for 2018-2020.
The second meeting agreed to continue the dialogue on cooperation in food safety, especially in the area of import-export control, testing capacity, capacity building and information exchange, and assigning contact persons in the Thai Food and Drug Administration and the Food and Drug Department in Laos. This cooperation is expected to ensure the quality and safety of food products and the efficacy of drugs as well as guarantee fair trade for consumers.
Future plans for food safety cooperation include developing harmonisation mechanisms for food import-export control information exchange and notification, along with identifying capacity building activities for 2018-2020.