A recent analysis showed that market value of the chestnut crop from trees planted in Cao Bang could reach USD 26 million annually by the year 2013. A major advantage is that the chestnut harvest season coincides with the main period of demand in the large Japanese, Taiwan, and South East Asian Markets. It was hoped that the Cao Bang chestnut industry would be part of the next EC-funded project in Cao Bang. The PMU believed that the industry holds tremendous promise to alleviate poverty among the upland farmers, but that it required a serious and sustained marketing and processing effort.

The topic of the project was the long-term impacts of Finnish aid in forestry and rural development. Forestry and forest-related activities has been one 'sector' that has been consistently emphasized in Finnish development co-operation. Yet the forms, and no doubt the impacts, of forestry aid interventions have greatly changed over time. Rural development is a related, more recent addition to Finnish development efforts and one that has gained in importance and continues to be pursued. Common to both forestry and rural development aid is that social and cultural aspects have asserted their importance and become more integrated over the years. That has made the interventions ever more multifaceted and their impacts ever more varied. 

The specific objective of this assignment was to evaluate the Luxembourg contribution in the implementation of the development strategies of Laos and Vietnam and to provide recommendations in order to optimize future ICP interventions.

The purpose of the study was to provide the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the 2009 High Level Meeting (HLM) and the wider development community with a comprehensive assessment of current donor policies and practices regarding the tying of aid as well as the results of untying. Phase II of the project was intended to be an exploratory study providing evidence based conclusions about the implications of untying for aid effectiveness. The intention was to provide a benchmark against which the advantages of untying aid and further steps to promote untying could be assessed.