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Conclusion of the 13th Laos Business Forum

The annual 13th Lao Business Forum took place in Vientiane to review the progress of public private dialogue with the purpose to improve and provide a better business environment in Laos. The event was attended by the total number of more than 400 participants including representative of domestic and foreign businesses, public sector agencies, international diplomatic community as well as development partners.

The half day event reviewed progress of the dialogue since the 12th Laos Business Forum. The representative of private sector admired the Government for the efforts and hard work in implementing effective COVID-19 containment and mitigation measures as well as immediate measures to protect and provide assistance to workers and private sector from economic effects for instance tax exemptions and deferrals, provision of loans at low rates, unemployment benefits through social security system and etc…

Since the 12th LBF, private sector and relevant government agencies prioritized 40 specific issues in several areas of business entry, trade facilitation, access to financial services, enforcement of laws and regulations, promotion of sustainable tourism and agribusiness for discussions, resulting in resolving the total of 8 issues during the past 12 months and the rest of 32 issues to keep working on. The forum agreed on action plans to continue the dialogue and seek for appropriate solutions of the remaining issues in 2022.

During the session, concerned government agencies, MPI, MoF, MPWT, BoL and MoIC each also had an opportunity to response to issues mentioned regarding update, possibility, explanation and concrete plan on how the government will cope with the remaining issues which most of the plan will focus on the improvement of legislations and its implementation.

The Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Phankham Viphavanh, stressed the importance of promoting economic diversification amongst the impact of ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as well as long term sustainable and comprehensive growth of Lao economy in his opening remarks. The prime Minister also outlined key government policies and strategies for promoting private investment in the non-resource sectors including general manufacturing, tourism and agro-based industry.  H.E. Mr. Phankham Viphavanh also promised that the government will assign relevant ministries to solve problems on a case-by-case basis.

H.E. Prime Minister closed the meeting by expressing government’s commitment to maintain macroeconomic stability, further deepening of structural reforms, increase public investment in infrastructure to support export diversification, increase the productivity of private sector firms and reduce cost of doing business through making improvements in government administration and by streamlining and simplifying administrative procedures.

The detailed version on each issues could be found as a file from the link below:

LBF 13th (2020) – LNCCI – Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry