Ensuring Health and Safety in Lao PDR’s Empire Water

With 70 brands of drinking water distributed in four provinces in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR)—Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Province, Louangphabang, and Bolikhamxai—the private company Empire Water relies on its reputation of safety in producing and supplying quality bottled water to establishments, including hotels and restaurants.  

The Lao PDR Ministry of Health (MOH) through the Greater Mekong Subregion Trade Facilitation Project, financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), supported Empire Water in developing and maintaining a high standard of safety by providing workers with trainings that ensure safety at every stage of water purification and bottling. Capacity building were given to workers on cleanliness, proper separation of humans and machines to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, proper use of machines to prevent accidents, and proper response to emergencies to minimize financial losses due to production shutdowns. These trainings helped establish safety procedures at the company, improved safety of workers, and boosted the confidence of consumers.  

To further ensure quality, the plant conducts regular tests to monitor the bottling process, ensuring that microorganisms, substances, and chemicals fall under the level of standards set. Water quality tests are also conducted by an independent laboratory as an added layer of safety atop the rigorous testing that the plant conducts on its own.  

GMS Trade Facilitation project support for capacity building programs in food processing enterprises and restaurants in target provinces has helped improve the food safety handling capacity in the private sector. This is important for consumers’ health and the reputation and competitiveness of Lao PDR enterprises. Empire Water is one of the food enterprises inspected by the country's MOH  that received Good Manufacturing Practices certificate.  

With the project’s support, over 640 food safety inspectors in the Lao PDR received training and coaching on food safety handling procedures, and testing facilities was upgraded at the National Food Laboratory with the provision of 3 mobile laboratories. As a result, over 720 food enterprises and restaurants were inspected and awarded with Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Hygiene Practice by the MOH in Vientiane Capital, and Champasak, Louangphabang, Savannakhet, and Oudomxai Provinces.  

Last Updated: 6 February 2023