Department of Import and Export, MOIC and LNCCI organised the Public-Private Consultative Meeting under umbrella of the Lao Business Forum to discuss issues related to trade facilitation, customs and taxes on 16th of September 2020 with participation of representatives from public, private sectors and foreign chamber of commerce in Lao PDR, including ECCIL EuroCham Laos.
The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Khemmani Pholsena, Minister of the MOIC, and Vice Head of the National Trade Facility Committee (NTFC), and Mr. Oudet Souvannavong, the President of LNCCI. Domestic and foreign business operators in Laos and representatives of the private and the government sectors attended the meeting.
Ms. Khemmani Pholsena stressed the importance of trade facilitation in improving competitiveness of Lao private sector as well as attracting quality foreign direct investment to Laos. The chair women also took the opportunity to introduce objectives and structure of the NTFC at both national and provincial level.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Oudet Souvannavong reiterated LNCCI’s commitments as Secretariat to the Lao Business Forum to collaborate with NTFC and other inter-ministerial coordination mechanisms such as PM order No. 02 Task Force and others to improve environment for doing business in Laos through constructive dialogue on specific busines regulatory issues affecting private sector.
The meeting discussed 11 specific issues, including procedures for approving Master List under Investment Promotion Law, illegal import, collection of VAT on transport services of transit goods, high import tariffs on semi-finished products, high transport cost, VAT refund for exporters, implementation of Lao National Single Window system, customs clearance procedures, barriers for movement of goods within the country, fees associated with import and export of agricultural products, and customs approval procedures for transit goods.
The meeting reached consensus on some proposed recommendations from private sector and agreed a number of specific actions to seek effective solutions to the issues raised in the meeting.
Information source: Trade for Development