The government has told the National Assembly (NA) that Laos needs to have an electronic signature law in place to boost E-commerce and facilitate E-governance.Read more
Private investment prospects in Laos remain robust despite the nation’s drop in ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, according to a government report.Read more
Chemicals released into a river by a Chinese-owned banana farm near the Lao capital Vientiane killed over 300 kg of fish in November, prompting warnings by authorities to local villagers not to bathe or fish in the polluted stream, sources in the country say.Read more
Two Chinese-owned cement factories in the Vang Vieng district of Laos’ Vientiane Province are covering approximately 900 local families in at least four villages with dust and smog, threatening their health, local sources say.Read more
Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Laos must prepare for a new challenge when the government enforces the Law on Value Added Tax (VAT) next year.Read more
The 12th Asean Business Awards (ABA) Gala Dinner took place on the night of November 12 last week, shining a spotlight on some of the many successful enterprises from a variety of industry sectors from across the region.Read more
The revenue earned from taxes has increased massively since the government introduced an online payment system.Read more
The free trade zone will also be a way for Thailand and the Mekong countries to profit from China’s flagship Belt and Road initiative.Read more
That is the claim of a Stanford University engineering expert who has scientifically analyzed the site of the disaster that likely killed hundreds of Lao villagersRead more
With over 64 ton diesel, handed over from PetroChina to a Lao company at Laos-China border, the first export of Chinese refined oil to Lao market was made on Wednesday.Read more
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has urged the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL), the nation’s central bank, to pay serious attention to implementing Order No. 02/PM on improving the climate for doing business.Read more
Asia and Europe should strengthen cooperation to narrow the development gap that remains wide, Laos has told the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem12) in Brussels, Belgium.Read more
Chinese economic development strategies need fine-tuningRead more
A new study says a warming globe will be bad news for barley, an essential ingredient in the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage.Read more
Lao Airlines has shifted its primary focus from searching for a business partner to improving service in a bid to make the national flag carrier more competitiveRead more
Authorities need to reduce the regulatory burden or “red tape” that businesses face in conducting their activities due to rules and regulations so that their compliance costs can be cut to increase their efficiency.Read more
Lao firms and households are expected to benefit from a new US$13-million project, which will promote reforms to the business environment, for instance reducing the number of days needed to start a business.Read more
Lao Airlines welcomed a significant leadership change yesterday that comes as the government moves to transform the state-owned enterprise into a more efficient and competitive one.Read more
Authorities have directed all media outlets to stop carrying advertisements for KIWI Co Ltd’s QR Code payments and services via the Alipay system in Laos as they do not have the required permission from the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL).Read more
Vientiane Airport has doubled the size of its international terminal, supporting a Laotian initiative to boost tourism. Laos expects Vientiane’s international passenger traffic to double over the next five years, driven by a rapid increase in visitor numbers.Read more
Wednesday Night, J&C Services Celebrated our 10th anniversary surrounded by over 150 guests on the grounds of the J&C office compound. We are exceptionally proud of the services we have been offering expatriates in Laos for the past decade.
J&C Services is a fast growing business continuously searching for better and more unique products for our clients. At the beginning of this year, we expanded our activities to include a marketing department.
Internet users will have a wider choice of service options when the Lao Asia Pacific Satellite Co., Ltd. rolls out 4G wireless throughout the country early next year.Read more
Laos continues to face a high risk of money laundering despite the country graduating from the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force last year, according to the National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment (NRA).Read more
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has ordered ministers, the Vientiane mayor and provincial governors to implement eight measures to stimulate economic growth.Read more
Trepidation about a huge influx of Chinese tourists into the small Southeast Asian country – with a population of just 6.8 million – was heightened last year when construction was started on the high-speed Laos-China Railway.Read more
The Ministry of Finance in Laos has announced it has adopted a new Asean tariff code, giving a signal that Laos is ready to become part of the single regional market of 600 million consumers.Read more
Members of the Lao business sector have recently called for the government to abolish a 10 percent excise tax on internet usage, claiming that Laos remains the only country in Asean to impose the charge.Read more
The Bank of the Lao PDR looks set to face a big challenge in keeping the value of the kip against the US dollar stable, as the local market is ignoring the official reference currency exchange rate.Read more
The number of newly registered and expanded businesses in the capital increased almost threefold during the first six months of the year.Read more
Laos having regrets as China’s grand Pan-Asia railway dream soursRead more
Vicha Poolvaraluck, chief executive of Major Cineplex, said he signed the deal with Thatnakhone Thammavong, president of TK Group and Lao World Plc, an owner of ITECC Mall, to open the new state-of-the-art cinema.Read more
The 16-hectare resort overlooks a lush greenery with a backdrop of beautiful mountain views and paddy fields along meandering streams and ponds in the rustic countryside.Read more
Public debt is estimated at around 68 percent of GDP and almost half of the money is being borrowed from one source – China.Read more
Despite development boom, exchange has listed only 7 companies since 2011 launch.
The Lao Securities Exchange wants to increase the number of listed companies from the current seven to 25 or 35 by 2020, but experts are skeptical.
Domestic and foreign investors will be granted a number of tax breaks under a new amended decree related to specific and special economic zones (SEZs) issued recently by the government.Read more
The concrete casting for the last pier understructure of LuangPrabangrailway bridge has been successfully completed, laying down all the foundation construction work of the two cross-Mekong River super major bridges along the China-Laos railway.Read more
Champassak provincial authorities will soon order an inspection of Road No. 16 including accurate details on the construction budget as the government contemplates plans to purchase the project rights from the private construction company.Read more
More than 2,715.8 billion kip will be sourced and allocated for the promotion of small and medium enterprises (SME) to facilitate better access to finance to grow their businesses.Read more
While giving a guidance talk at the 11th Lao Business Forum on Jul 5, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith emphasized the importance of strengthening the business sector through the improvement of business-related laws and regulations adding that doing so could help achieve the national socio-economic development goals.Read more
The Lao Coffee Festival reinforced the growing significance of the coffee industry in Laos and the tiny, landlocked Southeast Asian state’s aspirations to become a major player in this area despite the challenges that remain.Read more
Laos has begun to witness improvements in non-resource exports amid declining mining output and a government policy to boost growth in the manufacturing sectorRead more
The strategic process run for MMG’s Sepon copper-mine in Laos has culminated in the sale of the operation for US$275 million to a Chinese buyer.Read more
All enterprises that have been registered and have obtained a tax ID will have to comply with the Value Added Tax Law.Read more
As the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia and one of the least developed ones in the region, Laos seems to have different priorities on growth that are driving it pile on even more debt.Read more
A new IP law will come into force in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos this weekend, introducing trademark opposition procedures to the country for the first time. The new law also stipulates the creation of a new digital platform for brand rights and expands the range of images eligible for trademark protection in the jurisdiction, among other things.Read more
Work has begun on the construction of the new Kasemrad International Hospital Vientiane (KIH Vientiane), the largest private hospital in Laos, with an expected completion date in two years’ time.Read more
Laos and China on Monday officially set in motion a new air route between the two countries, aimed not only at boosting tourism but also other areas of cooperation.
The new flight will carry tourists and other travellers between Vientiane and Luang Prabang province in Laos and Hainan province in China.
Lao economists have urged the government to accelerate the privatisation of state enterprises that have been underperforming, as part of measures to improve its financial position.Read more
During its annual agent meeting & celebration, Lanexang Assurance awarded J&C Services for their outstanding performance in 2017.
Stephan R. Aeschbach, owner of J&C Services, proudly accepted the award. “We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our performance” said Mr. Aeschbach, “we truly believe that providing a valuable service to our customers begins with creating a trusted partnership with our providers.”
The injection of bank credit into the Lao economy has been on the decline after reaching a peak over the past several years, according to economists.Read more
The Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL) is warning the public about illegal QR code payment services being offered by banks or financial institutions that have not been granted permission by the BOL.Read more
Laos is an ASEAN member country in the heart of the Indochinese region, which has economic potentials and is opening up itself for cooperation with other countries.Read more
Lao government officials have launched a new push against corruption in the one-party communist state, with state inspection authorities stepping up investigations across the country and reporting in February that they had discovered up to $120,000 missing from state funds, sources in Laos said.Read more
More than US$5 billion is needed to build a railway linking Vientiane to a seaport in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province, Vietnamese media reported on Friday, citing study results.Read more
The collection of revenue throughout the nation over the past four months has reached 5,297 billion kip, equal to only 20.81 percent of the figure targeted for the whole of 2018.Read more
The predicted economic slowdown in China, one of the top three foreign investors in Laos and an important trading partner, could affect the Lao economy, the government’s economic analysts have warned.Read more
Vientiane province’s Vangvieng district will officially be declared a tourism town in 2020 in terms of natural and cultural attractions, as part of the government’s efforts to promote the tourism industry.Read more
Lao economists have called on the government to pay more attention to preparations for the country’s expected graduation from the least developed country (LDC) status, to ensure sustainable development.Read more
The government has approved a minimum wage increase from the present 900,000 kip to 1.1 million kip a month, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.Read more
The construction cost of many projects with State investment have been found to be too expensive and exceeding the realistic value, inspectors have confirmed.Read more
The nation’s economic growth is likely to be sustained this year and accelerate next year, while inflation will edge up according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).Read more
The Lao government says the country will earn increased revenues from the energy and mines sector this year on the back of continued growth.Read more
Beijing-backed US$6.7 billion high-speed railway project threatens to bust the small nation’s already fragile financesRead more
A Lao company has officially opened an inland container depot (ICD) at the Boten Specific Economic Zone (SEZ) in Laos’ northern province of Luang Namtha.Read more
Next month marks Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith’s second year in power, a role few Communist Party apparatchiks have grasped with so much aplomb.Read more
In the 2018 Doing Business report, Lao PDR was ranked 141 out of 190, down from 139 the previous year.Read more
Landlocked by Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam, Laos is among the poorest economies of the world. Yet, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), the economy continues to soar. Over the last decade, Laos has sustained an average growth rate of 7.8 percent, relatively higher than its neighboring countries.Read more
The Lao government has compiled a list of potential development projects to attract domestic and foreign investment. According to the list, local and foreign investors are invited with 27 projects in six provinces out of the country’s 18 provinces or citiesRead more
Laos has to strengthen the rule of law if it wants to become a competitive investment destination, according to a report from the World Bank.
“The country (Laos) faces issues that include weak regulatory effectiveness, control of corruption and rule of law,” the 2018-Doing Business in the Lao PDR report highlighted in its key findings.
Vientiane authorities have warned 3,039 enterprises to pay taxes and declare their business plans, with the threat of closure hanging over them if they fail to comply.Read more
Lao enterprises have highlighted the perceived unprofessional practices of firms in the informal sector and high tax rates as the top constraints in investing in the country, according to a report from the World Bank.Read more
A Chinese company is beginning construction of a more than US$200-million tourism complex at the disused airfield in Vangvieng district. The project will include a five-star hotel, a modern private hospital, a public park and a planned casino.Read more
Owners of garment factories and other businesses in Laos are rejecting a proposal to raise the minimum wage by as much as one-third, saying the increase in expenses would force them to shut down operations, despite reports of workers seeking opportunities elsewhere due to low pay and high living costs.Read more
Source: Bloomberg China may steal all the headlines when it comes to its infrastructure push across Southeast Asia, but dataRead more
Twenty two local and foreign companies have signed agreements with relevant authorities to invest in the Thakhek Specific Economic Zone (TSEZ) since 2012.Read more
The current turmoil in the Asian markets, which has been going on 20 years after a much bigger disaster: the Asian financial crisis, began with the collapse of Thailand’s currency – the Baht – and spread across East Asia.
One of the contributing factors was high public debt in the affected countries, including Laos.
As Lao PDR’s economy grows and more companies begin conducting commercial activities here it will become increasingly important for businesses to protect and maintain their competitiveness in the market. A company’s failure to effectively protect its IP or to restrict infringement of its IP can lead to the loss of market share, revenue, reputation, opportunity and competitive advantage.Read more
Maybank Group through its Corporate Responsibility arm, Maybank Foundation, has expanded its “Maybank Women Eco Weavers” programme to Laos making it the third country in Asean to have such an initiative.Read more
The Vientiane administration has vowed to improve the investment climate to attract more private investment and facilitate business operations as part of measures to achieve 10.5 percent economic growth.Read more
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MOICT) has recently signed an agreement with BigBlue Agency Laos awarding them the preferred rights to setup all billboards related to the Visit Laos Year 2018 Campaign.Read more
Laos is among the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia: economic growth has averaged 7.8 per cent over the past decade. Despite the slow recovery of the global economy, the country’s growth rate was 6.9 per cent in 2017 and is expected to be 7 per cent in 2018. This is buoyed by an expansion in electricity production, manufacturing and agriculture, and it occurs despite a slight drop in tourist arrivals.Read more
While often portrayed as a pliant client to its larger neighbors, Vientiane’s balancing act is more astute than widely recognized
With its sparse 6.7 million population, land-locked Laos is often cast as a passive victim of pell-mell Chinese expansionism, a rich source of raw materials its giant neighbor craves and a virtual truck stop on the way to Thailand and the more prosperous countries of mainland Southeast Asia.
On November 7, 2017, the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued a formal notice, No.2633/MOIC, to all its offices across the country to fully recognize and abolish the capital requirement foreign owned general businesses.Read more
The government will strive to collect taxes owed by businesses after they failed to pay them during the first six months of this year, according to a government report.Read more
PHI Group, Inc., (www.phiglobal.com) (OTCQB:PHIL), a company focused on mergers and acquisitions and investments in natural resources, energy, agriculture, and special situations, announced today that its subsidiary American Pacific Resources, Inc. (“APR”) (https://aprgold.com/) has signed a Business Cooperation and Investment Agreement with a Lao company to develop a 67,000-acre gold mining project in the Province of Savannakhet, Laos.Read more
Economists have called for the government to address power failures and blackouts in a move to further improve the business environment in Laos.Read more
InterContinental Hotels Group signed a management agreement with BIM Group to develop the first Holiday Inn hotel in Vientiane, Laos. This will be IHG’s third project with BIM Group.Read more
While the Asia-Pacific region is experiencing population ageing at an unprecedented rate, the growing number of young people in Laos can provide a significant momentum in driving economic growth.Read more
B GRIMM POWER has taken an aggressive move in building and operating hydropower plants in Laos. The company officially opened on Friday the Xanamnoy 2 and Xekatam 1 hydropower plants in Champasak province that shares a border with Thailand’s Northeastern Ubon Ratchathani province.Read more
A number of loopholes remain that are resulting in leaks undermining revenue collection, members of the National Assembly (NA) told the government yesterday.Read more
In line with the policy to adjust the maximum ceiling of the insurable earnings under the National Social Security Fund (“NSSF”) framework at five times the minimum wage set by the Government of Lao PDR and adjusted fromRead more
Laos-based Kolao Group has become the first private company from that country to tap the Thai corporate bond market, raising US$25 million in a private placement today.Read more
A Chinese state-owned enterprise said on Saturday that it will build a U.S. $40 million elephant conservation and breeding center in northwestern Laos’ Sayaboury province and develop it into a for-profit tourist attraction by the end of the year.Read more
Laos is one of the fastest growing nations in Asia. Strong exports and a burgeoning service sector helped its economy surge by 6.8% in 2016. The Asian Development Bank predicts even faster GDP growth of more than 7% going forward.
Meanwhile, foreign investment in Laos …
China’s Comba Telecom has vowed to provide Lao users with improved service and mobile experiences after it successfully acquired a majority stake in Laos’s ETL Public Company and stepped up its management improvement efforts.Read more
PanAust Limited, Phu Bia Mining’s parent company, has reported continued high-performance production outcomes for the Phu Kham Copper-Gold and Ban Houayxai Gold-Silver Operations in its quarterly report for the three months to Jun 30, 2017.Read more
In case you missed it, Singapore’s reputation as an attractive holding company location for investments into Lao PDR recently went up a notch: after being signed way back in February 2014, the long-awaited tax treaty/double taxation agreement between Lao PDR and Singapore (the “DTA”) became effective on 1 January 2017.Read more
LINFOX has today become the first foreign logistics company to operate in Laos with the signing of a joint venture with the Lao Logistics Group in Vientiane.Read more
The TohLao Coworking Space has officially launched its new office under the brand “Toh X” which is looking to drive the country’s startup business growth.Read more
Although the Asean Economic Community has resulted in increased economic activity between Laos and other countries in the regional bloc, the nation still must overcome numerous challenges to benefit from regional economic integration.Read more
A newly-amended Investment Promotion Law has recently been promulgated, offering a variety of incentives to attract investment in both promoted sectors and hardship areas.
Businesses investing and operating in hardship communities (known as Area I),where infrastructure has not yet been developed, will enjoy favourable profit tax exemptions over ….
China overtook Vietnam to reclaim the number one position as the largest foreign investor in Laos last year.
China’s investment last year soared to over US$1 billion compared to US$88.9 million in 2015 while Vietnam’s investment decreased by US$4.5 million in 2016 after registering US$466 million in 2015.
Most of the investments are focused on the hydropower, mining and ….
The Labour Law (2013) came into effect on 28 October 2014, repealing and replacing the previous Labour Law (2006) and introducing a number of significant changes relating to the basic rules of employment in Lao PDR. As the Labour Law is now well into its third year in force, we consider one of its more significant yet often overlooked legal requirements for employers in Lao PDR – internal regulations or “work rules” of the workplace for employees.Read more
The Philippines is just one growth engine for the region stretching from Japan to Singapore, and infrastructure booms are just one source of booming economies. Here are the countries that the World Bank projects will grow fastest in East Asia and the Pacific this year:
1. Laos. This impoverished country with a strict Communist government will grow 7% this year because of investment in the …
Source: Vientiane Times The government is encouraging an increasing number of young people to enter the business world, especially thoseRead more
The number of entrepreneurs registering businesses in Laos declined by 13 percent over the past 10 months of this fiscal year compared to the same period last year.
According to a recent government report, the number of registered businesses reached 1,666 units from October 2016 to May 2016 with registered capital amounting …..
One of the biggest local investors in the region, Krittaphong Group Co., Ltd. is pouring capital into various mega projects to build stronger business capacities in Laos, a developing nation in Asean and the world.
In Vientiane, major properties belonging to it include the Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel, the five-star …..
Business leaders share views on roadmap to success; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, discusses economic development at ASEAN Business Investment Summit 2016
Regional broadcaster, Channel NewsAsia, brought together business leaders and the government sector for two forums held during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2016, at ….
A slowing in China’s economy is having rippling effects on Laos, which has been described by the World Bank as having “once of the fastest growing” economies in the East Asia and Pacific region.
A decade long mining boom, combined with a rapid development of hydropower, has seen Laos’ growth rate reach over 7 percent a year, allowing national output to more than double, generating some ….
For five years, this remote town on the China-Laos border has lived in the shadow of more prosperous times.
On the main street, weeds grow where bustling shops and restaurants once stood. Old nightclub signs blister and peel in the tropical climate. Around town, abandoned multistory hotels loom like decaying sentinels, colonized by armies of jungle insects.
About a half-dozen years ago, Boten was a casino boomtown, a pinprick of neon amid thickly forested hills. Its gold-rush economy revolved ….
The National Assembly (NA) approved the state budget plan for the next five years (2016-2020) last week, which will include a budget deficit of 27,119 billion kip.
The deficit is in line with the parliament’s approval of the five-year plan that sets the deficit at 3.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with the maximum deficit not to …..
On 30 March, the Australian Chamber of Commerce held its debut event, the Savannakhet Sundowner in Savannakhet. Austcham has recently expanded its network to Savannakhet and will be the first foreign Chamber of Commerce in …..Read more
International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has lauded Laos’ economic achievements while cautioning that more work is needed to consolidate stability as the nation transitions from low-income country status.
Ms Lagarde is believed to be the first IMF chief to visit Laos since the country joined the ….
The newly-amended constitution passed recently by the National Assembly (NA) has allowed the establishment of provincial assemblies (PAs) for the first time, which are set to function in an NA-like role as local parliaments.
The constitution also stipulates, for the first time, that the president can hold office for not more than …..
As Southeast Asia’s energy demands grow, Laos is banking on increased electricity exports to shore up its economy. The tiny country, which has a population of just under 7 million, has been opening a string of large-scale hydropower stations that will boost its total generation capacity by an estimated 70% by the end of the year compared to 2014.
Laos plans to sell 80% of the power it generates to neighboring countries in a bid to achieve ……
Foreigners are prohibited from operating trading outlets or shops whose investment cost is less than 8 billion kip (US$983,380), so that small-scale businesses are reserved solely for Lao nationals, according to a new regulation.
Under the ruling, foreigners are prohibited from investing in a specific trading shop, convenience store, mini-mart, wholesale or ……
The Ministry of Finance expects to have widened the availability of modern tax payment systems via private banks in Laos, seeking to make it easier for business operators to meet their tax obligations.
The project shall help prepare towards the AEC while the tax and duty collection sector requires modern services systems to improve accountability and make it easier for …..
The government has set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent for this and next year in an attempt to decrease the trade deficit.
The government measures to meet the planned target received support from the National Assembly (NA) at its ordinary session which concluded last week.
In the session’s draft resolution on approving the government plan, the assembly expressed support for the government targeting 102 trillion kip (around US$12.74 billion) in gross domestic product (GDP) to be created and 14.9 million kip of income per capita this fiscal year which ….
The calculation of severance pay, the use of foreign labour, and many other matters stipulated in the newly amended Law on Labour needed explanation to ensure the law was effectively enforced.
These issues were discussed on Friday in Vientiane between employers, government officials, and international experts to test the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) labour code guides and training material.
The calculation of severance pay that is fixed to 10 percent of previous ……
The National Assembly (NA) yesterday passed the Business Competition Law in a move to ensure that competition between businesses in Laos is carried out in a fair and just manner to boost economic growth.
The decree has only five chapters with 17 articles, while the draft law comprises of nine parts, eight chapters and 84 articles. “Therefore, there is a need to upgrade the decree into law. The content of the law is comprehensive and covers all areas of …..
Quiet Lao bourse looks to attract more companies, possibly with the help of dual listings.
Having been open since October 2010, the slow-moving Lao Securities Exchange (LSX) is looking to raise the number of listed companies to about 25 by 2020 from the six that are now trading.
“Our aim is to have a least 25 companies listed by 2020 and we are looking at encouraging many state-owned enterprises and private-sector companies to be on the ……
To celebrate the party’s achievements in the past 60 years, a large gathering of senior party leaders and high-ranking party officials was held at which party secretary-general and president of the Lao PDR Choummaly Sayasone delivered the keynote address.
He asserted that the party has remained relevant because it adopted the policy of “self-construction and self-improvement to enhance its strength with endless flexibility.” He cited the so-called renovation policy of 1986 which “replaced the bureaucratically centralized economic mechanism and subsidy-based administration with a ……
President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone and President of Myanmar U Thein Sein on Saturday officially opened the Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, creating a road link across the Mekong River.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Thongloun Sosoulith said the bridge was a symbol of the close cooperation between Laos and Myanmar. It also reflected the friendship, good relations, solidarity and mutual understanding between the ……
The number of people seeking to do businesses in Laos last year fell by more than half compared to the figure recorded in the previous year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The Ministry attributed the shortfall to some difficulties that hindered people from doing businesses and other external factors including the impact from the economic crisis, monetary policy and …..
With a greater focus on manufacturing, a young population and a president committed to stable growth, the Philippines is pulling ahead
The Philippines is no longer the `sick man of Asia’, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan declared yesterday after the economy grew a better-than-estimated 6.9 percent last quarter from a year earlier. That capped three successive years of above-6-percent growth, placing it well ahead of Thailand, once a growth engine of ….
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) may cancel 34 business licences this month after the companies failed to declare tax payments to the ministry after they were warned in June last year.
“Earlier this month, we submitted a report to the minister about the need to revoke these 34 licences,” said Mr Khamhack Vivanxay of the ministry’s Revenue Collection Management Division, under the Tax Department.
“They are mostly mining and construction companies, both local and foreign owned. If they do not declare their tax payment, they should come and ……
As economies in the West remain shaky, Southeast Asia beckons investors. But alongside some of the world’s fastest growing economies is the risk of corporate corruption in a region where winning deals still sometimes means greasing the right wheels. Last month, the French engineering giant Alstom SA pleaded guilty to …..Read more
McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers Co Ltd has merged with Australian law firm Arion Legal, (www.arionlegal.com) creating a strong and improved presence and capability in the Lao PDR, now under the new name “Arion Legal” (incorporating McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers Co Ltd).
The merger will allow Arion Legal to leverage the strong …
To celebrate the tremendous development of the Lao coffee sector and to further promote the unique Lao coffee to the domestic and foreign markets, Lao Coffee Association is organizing the 1st Lao Coffee Festival, from 24 – 26 October 2014 at the Arawan Riverside Hotel and Champasak Grand Hotel in Pakse.
The Lao Coffee Festival will include various activities like exhibition of Lao coffee products, seminars on topics on production background of Lao coffee, present state of the world coffee trade, trends in prices, production ….
Car dealers are anticipating a significant downturn in sales volumes as the Lao economy starts to slow and purchasing power declines.
To counteract the drop in sales showrooms are stepping up efforts to attract customers through various special offers.
The large influx of vehicles into the country is forcing dealers to introduce promotions to attract ….
An interesting neighbour? Most people would immediately assume it’s Myanmar. While we cannot ignore the glittering promise of Myanmar’s emergence, I have noticed more and more that Laos is quietly becoming a force to be reckoned with as we enter the AEC era.
Despite its rich resource endowment, Thai investors may have overlooked Laos owing to its tiny economy, valued at just 3% of Thailand’s GDP and small population of just below 7 million. Plus, the underdeveloped ….
Logistic facilities at Thanalaeng Train Station in Vientiane have begun to take shape after eight months of construction, according to a Lao railway official.
The Lao Railway Authority’s Railway Management Division Chief, Mr Somsana Rasaphone said recently that the new facilities, which will enable the train station to provide freight services, are now some 23 percent complete.
Construction of the container yard and lifting facilities at the train station began at the end of last year and was scheduled to be completed within 18 months. The Lao government hopes to open the rail freight service ahead of the establishment of …
The government has vowed to address any barrier that hinders business operation and investment in Laos to boost socio-economic development of the country.
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong yesterday told business executives that the government would take all their recommendations and proposals into the cabinet’s agenda in a move to bring about a good business operation and investment friendly climate.
Business operators called for the government to introduce clear export and import related policy giving more incentives for their …
Leading ethnic Chinese business people running companies in Thailand are investigating the US$1.6-billion That Luang Specific Economic Zone (SEZ) in Vientiane for possible future investment.The delegation comprised about 15 business people who own factories in Thailand notably related to salt, rice, steel manufacturing and other construction-related businesses.
The That Luang Marsh SEZ is one of the government’s mega-projects that will play a significant role in boosting the socio-economic development of Laos. The government signed a ……
The government has designated an area in the Savan-Xeno Special Economic Zone in the central province of Savannakhet for sole use by Japanese factories after learning that many firms are looking for new production bases.
“We have designated Area B in the Special Economic Zone for ……
Danish workwear maker Mascot is continuing its expansion in Southeast Asia with the opening of a newly built factory in Laos.
The new 9,000 square metre production unit becomes the fourth that it operates in the region, and will complement the company’s three existing factories in northern Vietnam.
“Since we obtained the investment license, it has taken less than a year to complete the project, and I am very much looking forward to seeing the first ‘made in Laos’ Mascot-products,” said owner and CEO Michael Grosbøl.
It is expected that the workforce at the Laos factory will reach …..
Corruption remains a threat to Laos, and global development, despite the government making progress to tackle the problem, officials noted at an International Anti-Corruption Day event.
According to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index prepared by global anti-corruption body Transparency International, Laos is currently ranked at 140 out of the 177 countries surveyed for the index, which scores countries on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be. Last year Laos was ranked 160.
“Corruption is one of many negative phenomena having a large effect on ….
Avis has signed a deal with RMA Group that will lead to the opening of its first facilities in Luang Prabang, Pakse and Vientiane in Laos, and Phnom Penh and Siam Reap in Cambodia. These will include both airport and city locations. The agreement will make Avis the first international car rental company to operate in either country.
“Strengthening our global position remains a high priority as we seek to drive sustained, profitable growth,” said Patric Siniscalchi, Avis Budget’s president for Latin America & Asia Pacific.
“Our licensee agreement with RMA Group will allow us to expand our …..
As Laos slowly engages with the world economy, investors are looking for office space in the capital, where a few ambitious developments are planned.
The sight of new buildings under construction in Southeast Asian capital cities is considered routine, but for Vientiane it is an exciting trend, showing the movement of trade and economic development in Laos. At 150 metres, the Sky Office Building will be the tallest building in Laos and the focal point of the The World Trade Centre in Vientiane.
Given the fact that Laos is not a manufacturing- and services-based country, it is no surprise that its capital city is not yet full of blocks of office buildings like Singapore, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta. But as a new member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since February this year, the ….
Metals miner MMG will cease gold operations at its Sepon mine, in Laos, in December, owing to the depletion of ore reserves and lower margins.
CEO Michelmore pointed out that it was no longer economic for MMG to produce gold at Sepon. Michelmore said MMG would have to review the overall structure of the operation to meet future needs of the business. This would result in a change to resourcing requirements, which the company would work through over the coming months.
“MMG acknowledges that this is disappointing news for our workforce……
According to estimates by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, a Hyundai/Kia dealership called Kolao Holdings is the biggest nonstate company in Laos, where the government runs most businesses.
Kolao has an unusual business format: founded by a Korean, registered as a Lao company, and listed on Korea’s main stock market Kospi from 2010.The Hyundai-Kia combination overtook Toyota Motor Corp. in Laos this year, grabbing a 37% share of the imported car market. But Kolao Holdings is looking beyond the business of selling Hyundai and Kia cars and motorcycles: It created its own brand, Daehan, which will ….
Laos needs to bring in 70,000 more foreign workers as the country grapples with a shortage of skilled labor in its emerging economy, according to Labor Minister Onechanh Thammavong. And it also needs to train its domestic workforce.
The country currently has 20,000 foreign workers, but the number needs to be more than tripled in the near future, said Onechanh Thammavong, the labor minister, to meet the 90,000-head count needed by Laotian businesses to operate.
Foreign investors often bring workers because Laotian locals they hire can be ….
Thailand will discuss with Laos a plan to double bilateral trade to US$8 billion (Bt240 billion) by 2015 from $4 billion in 2011.
The meeting between the Thai Commerce Ministry and the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce on August 8-9 will discuss the expansion of bilateral trade and investment, aiming to double bilateral trade value by 2015.
Thailand would urge more Thai businesses to invest in Laos. Thailand is currently the third-largest investor in Laos after China and Vietnam. Most of the Thai business investment in Laos is in the mining, energy, agriculture, forestry, and ……
Laos and the Philippines are keen to introduce electric vehicles and make EV production their key industry in the future, a development that may benefit auto-makers from Japan.
In Laos, which has abundant hydroelectric power, electricity charges are half of those in Thailand. The Laos government is implementing a project to convert 40 per cent of the nation’s motorcycles, tricycles and four-wheel vehicles into EVs by 2020 with the ….
Ayudhya Capital Auto Lease, better known as Krungsri Auto, believes it will enjoy a healthy profit margin from its expansion into Laos by the end of this year despite the country’s small population.
Managing director Pairote Cheunkrut said the operation in Laos would provide good lessons for the company that it could apply elsewhere in Asean. “The small population in Laos is not a problem for offering auto loans. Laos is the first stage of Krungsri Group’s ASEAN business model. We should use trial and error to learn how we can adjust our plans when the ASEAN Economic Community is fully realised,” he …..
Not so long ago, references to economic development in Laos typically mentioned the disadvantages of being a country that is landlocked. Wedged between dynamic, export-driven nations blessed with coastlines and harbours, Laos was viewed as fated to grow less rapidly than its neighbours.
But the map is changing now as the economies of Southeast Asia gear up to integrate, and as China pushes hard to develop road and rail links into the region to accelerate trade. Laos now finds itself as the pivot point between Asean’s 600 million people, with $2 trillion in GDP, and China’s …..
Economic growth in 2012-13 should reach 8.3 percent if government and foreign investment projects are implemented as planned, according to the National Economic Research Institute (NERI).
The figure was reported yesterday at the ‘Lao Economy in 2012 and Outlook for 2013′ meeting, organised by the institute with support from the World Bank. The economy should continue to grow by 8.2 percent in 2013-14 and 14-2015, according to the NERI.
GDP per capita reached 10.8 million kip (about US$1,349). The agricultural sector grew by 2.8 percent, accounting for 26.7 percent of GDP; the industrial sector grew by ….
Private firms have become a major driving force of Lao economic growth. In 2011 domestic and foreign private firms contributed 16 percent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), becoming the largest contributor to economic growth.
It is not surprising to learn that domestic and foreign private companies are playing a significant role in driving the economy. The government adopted a market oriented policy in 1986, allowing the private sector to take part in economic development after a decade of running a centrally planned economy. The government has also made a strong commitment to improve the business climate, to encourage the private sector to invest and do business in Laos. One of the government’s major achievements has been the easing of restrictions on ……
The Lao economy is expected to grow by about 7.7 percent in 2013 as resource based industries, manufacturing and services continue to generate solid growth, according to a key Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.
According to the publication, the substantial investment flowing into hydropower and mining, coupled with the construction of hotels, offices and residential buildings, will drive this growth. “The outlook for the Lao economy in 2013 is strong, as we see the economy starting a gradual diversification from its overdependence on ……
Toyota established a new vehicle interior components production company, TOYOTA BOSHOKU LAO CO., LTD. in the Savannakhet Province in April. This is the first time the Toyota Boshoku group has built a production base in Laos.
The new company will serve as a satellite complementing the Toyota Boshoku group production base in Thailand. It will start producing …
A new European Union (EU) regulation coming into effect to counter the trade in illegal timber will affect everyone in the wood trade sector exporting to the European market, including Laos.
This new EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) prohibits illegally harvested timber on the European market in an effort to tackle the problem of illegal logging across the world. Although volumes of Lao timber that flow directly to Europe are relatively small, large amounts of raw timber from Laos get processed in Vietnam before being …..
Russia is returning to Indochina not as a seller of weapons, but by means of investment in these countries by increasing tourism, developing small and medium business and buying real estate. Growing wealth of the Russians, warm climate, and the decline of interest in the dangerous Middle East sector has led to a reorientation of their interest towards Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
It is tourism, and not large business that plays a crucial role in the struggle for geopolitical influence in Indochina today. Indeed, in ….
We all know where our favorite camera brands hail from, but have you ever looked at the sticker on the bottom of your camera to see where it was made? If not, you might be in for a surprise.
Nikon has revealed that it is establishing a new factory in Laos. The Japanese manufacturer is investing approximately 6.3 million US dollars in the project, and expects to have around 800 employees in a 10,000 square meter facility once production begins……
An exporter of organic vegetables and fruit, Pakxong Organic Farm, will again sign contracts with buyers from Thailand and the Middle East’s Halal Food Group within the next two weeks.
The 500 hectare organic farm in Pakxong district, Champassak province, grows bananas, pineapples, cabbage, asparagus, peppers, lettuce, onions, carrots, radishes, zucchini, potatoes, ginger, chayote, tamarind, coffee and tea.
Last month, we launched our new menu. On Monday 21st January 2013, after weeks of slaving over new sundae recipes (which is a hard job but someone’s got to do it), training the staff, and designing the actual book, the “New and Improved” Love Life menu finally reached the tables.
It was, however, a bit of an anti-climax: that first day, the shop remained empty for most of the day, through to late afternoon and our usual rush hour. Thinking that maybe…
J&C Expat Services, who was already last year awarded with “Top Agent Bronze”, has according to Mr. Chong Yoong Swee, CEO of Toko Assurance, maintained its position as one of the “Top Agents” for 2012, without providing the exact ranking which will be only revealed during the Award Ceremony later this year.
“J&C Expat Services strong performance is impressive, with almost doubling its insurance portfolio in 2012” explains Chong. “J&C Services has become an important link between the Expat Community in Vientiane and Toko Assurance”.
The Curious Adventures Of Setting Up A Business In Laos
Since I moved to Laos three years ago, I have been suffering from chronic culture shock. My jaw drops a least once a day. One such shock came when I first started house-hunting: in Laos, landlords asking for rent to paid in yearly instalments is standard. It can even be paid for longer terms. I long thought this was a special treatment reserved to foreigners. But I recently found …..
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LAOS, one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries, is rarely in the role of power player in the region. The landlocked nation draws easy comparisons to a diplomatic backwater when set against Thailand, its more economically robust neighbour to the west. It is also overshadowed by Vietnam, a politically assertive eastern neighbour, which, like Laos, is ruled by a communist party.
Yet what happened last Monday on Mekong River — the region’s largest body of water shared by six countries, including Laos, Thailand and Vietnam — suggests a shift in the political currents …..
Hopes are running high that the WTO membership will encourage greater foreign investment, and that it will help Laos sustain its impressive growth rates of recent years, running between 6% and 8%. It seems that everyone is talking about the new possibilities for Laos, spreading unbridled optimism.
As a matter of fact, investing in Laos is still a risky bet …. here’s why:
First of all, it’s important to understand that whatever happens in the capital city of Vientiane does not reflect on the rest of the country. In fact, over 70% of Laos’ small population of 6.5 million people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Slashing subsidies on agricultural exports as required …..
Experts at a conference in Chiang Rai held out hope that future transborder water conflicts such as the one over Laos’ Xayaburi dam will be dealt with in a more inclusive and sustainable manner, but the concept is still in its infancy in the region.
At the conference, Dr Robert Mather, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said the Xayaburi dam project has shown that a shared vision on water resources does not exist in the Mekong region. Each country still looks out only for its own interests and not at sharing benefits in development opportunities.
“If we apply the concept of hydro diplomacy to the Mekong situation, we may have more choices other than ….
The new embassy of the United Kingdom to Laos officially opened in Vientiane yesterday, aiming to boost relations between the people and governments of the two countries. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Rt Hon William Hague, delivered this message during an interview with Lao media at the embassy’s opening ceremony.
Laos and the UK established diplomatic relations on September 5, 1955. The original UK embassy to Laos was closed 27 years ago and moved to a base in Bangkok, Thailand. But last month the governments of Laos and the UK agreed to reopen embassies in each country’s capital city. “We want to make sure there are …..
The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) has opened an office in Laos, creating a focal point for US businesses intending to invest in the country.
The Lao Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce held an official opening ceremony last week after getting the green light from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs to set up the office.
AMCHAM said one of its main objectives in opening the Vientiane office is to facilitate and spur investment by US businesses in Laos, to take advantage of the country’s strong economic growth over the ……
Coffee leads the way as Laos’ top commercial export crop, followed by the increasingly popular sweet corn.
Last year, the country received US$150 million from coffee exports, US$33 million from sweet corn, US$11 million from job-tear, US$14 million from rice and cassava and US$6 million from sugarcane, according to the Agriculture Department.
The volume from the coffee crops is continuing to grow each year, especially in the warmer southern provinces of Champassak, Saravan and Xekong, with each grower averaging a harvest of …..
Stallions, the Thai minibike brand, will open a factory in Laos next year to serve as a production base for exports to other Asean countries.
Motor World Import-Export will this year open 11 more branches nationwide in Laos on top of its existing three in Vientiane to support its growth. “We believe we’ll be the leader in niche motorcycles in the Lao market soon,” said Mr Kittipong..“ Motor World Import-Export will this year open 11 more branches nationwide in Laos on top of its existing three in Vientiane to support its growth. “Lao incomes are rising due …..
Laos is ranked 165th in the IFC’s Doing Business ranking for 2012, dropping from 163rd in 2011, despite the government having made key economic policy reforms.
One of the issues resulting in the drop in ranking is the difficulty businesses face when seeking credit or investment funding.
The Lao government has amended laws and created a ‘one-stop service’ for companies seeking investment permission and a business licence, which will become operational in October.
In the next six to eight years people will see a new face of Vientiane as Don Chan Island along the Mekong River develops into a modern urban area complete with a pedestrian zone.
CAMCE, the Lao-Chinese joint venture developing the area, plans to invest over US$600 million to turn 42 hectares of Don Chan Island along the Mekong River in Vientiane into the first international residence area, the first international business centre, as well as an international cultural and tourist centre where Lao people can take their family, friends and loved ones to shop, dine and enjoy local and international movies.
Driving along Samsenthai road, the black building with white letters reading “Guru Shop” immediately caught my eye. Don’t tell me they opened a spiritual center, I joked to myself. Curious as I am, I turned around and entered the “temple of wisdom”, which turned out to be the latest Apple shop in Vientiane.
“Our goal is to introduce as many people as possible to new technologies and gadgets, and teach them how the gadgets can make their daily lives easier”, explains Eddie Savankham, the owner of Guru Shop.Read more
Toko Assurance celebrated its Fourth Anniversary with a warm reception for staff, their nationwide agents, brokers and clients.
The Award Ceremony for its top agents was the climax of the evening.
J&C Expat Services was awarded with “Top Agent Bronze”. “Being the third largest agent for Toko in Laos is a great honor” said Mr. Aeschbach, Senior Partner at J&C, “I would like to thank all customers of J&C Services for their support and for trusting in our services. Furthermore, I would like to thank the entire team of Toko Assurance for their outstanding support”.
The Bank of the Lao PDR is urging the public to join forces to combat a rising tide of fake US dollar banknotes and other foreign currencies.
The central bank made the call last week after learning that a group of people were circulating large numbers of fake US$100 notes and other currencies in Laos. The bank is concerned about the damage this can inflict both on individuals and the national economy.
Companies operating in Laos have identified high taxes as one of the main obstacles to doing business in the country.
Speaking in response to the World Bank’s latest survey on the Lao business climate, both Laos-based and foreign firms say business tax rates are very high, making it difficult for them to stay competitive.
The bank’s survey also highlights that businesses in Laos consider access to finance to be the second largest problem despite the rapid growth of banks and microfinance institutions in Laos.
Air Asia has appointed Toko Assurance as the exclusive insurer for AirAsia passengers travelling from Wattay International Airport in Vientiane.
All passengers on AirAsia flights will have the option to be covered not only whilst on board their flights but also for the entire duration of their trip when they purchase AirAsia travel protection.
J&C Services, being one of the leading agents of Toko Assurance and their top agency in the “non-motor” insurance market, also attended the signing ceremony.
The government will continue to set a fixed price as a reference for import tariffs on some commodities until 2013, despite calls from international companies to abolish the trade barriers, the Ministry of Finance announced.
The government will continue to use the fixed price system to levy duties on some imported goods for the remainder of this year and the next. Customs officials will begin to apply levies based on the actual price of most imported goods leading up to 2013, as this is one of the main requirements for Laos to become a member of World Trade OrganisationRead more
The US$100 million hotel is a joint investment between the Ministry of National Defense, which will hold a 25 percent shareholding and the Regal Global Investment Development Group. The project contract is for a period of 99 years and the hotel will replace the existing Rasavong Hotel at km5 area in Xaysettha district.
According to the group, the hotel will consist of 350 rooms, including 20 VIP rooms and 30 suite rooms, on a total area of 120,000 square meters.
The hotel will also contain a shopping complex, as well as restaurants, entertainment facilities and a cinema.
It was Benjamin Franklin who said that nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. He certainly wasn’t wrong, even here in Laos. A new law is set to increase taxes paid by foreigners from the current flat rate of 10% to up to 28%. Tax paying organisations with a large amount of foreign workers are in for a rough ride.
The presidential decree regarding tax which has now been passed was dated 01 March 2011 and amends the existing tax rates of Profit Tax, Business Turnover Tax and Personal Income Tax.