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
The government will employ only as many new staff as are needed to fill the vacancies created by retiring officials, while also attempting to ensure that civil servants are more productive.Read more
Laos is aiming to achieve an upgrade from its least developed country (LDC) status at the United Nations to a middle income country by 2030 through strengthening international economic partnerships, including the promotion of tourism, a senior Laotian government official said on Friday.Read more
Several petrol stations in Vientiane and Khammuan province have been warned against cheating their customers following recent inspections made by authorities.Read more
Torrential rain has caused the deaths of 10 people around the country after heavy downpours and winds lashed many provinces, with the damage being assessed at about 55.5 billion kip.Read more
The e-commerce market in Laos is set to take off amidst the rapid growth of internet penetration in the region but the country still does not have laws to regulate such activities, experts have noted.Read more
The government has cleared a plan to lower its budget deficit for 2018 but it still requires more funds to repay domestic and overseas loans.Read 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
Laos and Cambodia have completed the demarcation of about 87 percent of their border, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced during a news conference held in Vientiane to provide an explanation about the recent problem on the frontier.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 …
A second night market at Chao Anouvong Park area in Chanthabouly district, Vientiane along the Mekong riverbank is expected to open soon with many stallholders registering interest in advance, according to authorities.Read more
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
The entry of foreign investors to Laos has resulted in a boom in real estate business in the Asian nation, notably in the capital Vientiane.Read more
In northern and central Laos,mountains seem to reign the area where population is scarce. There was almost nothing but primeval forests and traces of slash-and-burn cultivation left by mountainous residents.
However, since December 2016, within half a year since the beginning of …
Lao Airlines has announced it will inaugurate direct flight to Japan’s Tokyo Narita International Airport soon to handle the growing need for air transport between the two countries.
The exact date for the inauguration and ticket prices are still unknown, but details will be ..
The Lao government is upgrading payment methods for customs, tax, and other fees at the international customs checkpoint nationwide.
The Ministry of Finance together with …
Thaicom has signed a transponder leasing agreement with MV International Company (MVI), a Thai broadcaster and Direct-to-Home (DTH) platform operator, to establish a pay-TV platform in Laos. Under the multi-year agreement, MVI has signed a contract for Ku-band capacity on the Thaicom 8 satellite.Read more
Laos is preparing to establish administrative courts to better address administrative disputes between executive agencies and the general public.
The move will allow members of the public to file a lawsuit against …
MORE than four decades after the last bomb fell from the skies above the remote and landlocked Southeast Asian nation of Laos, its countryside remains littered with deadly remnants from a conflict which long-ago faded into distant memory for many in the West.Read more
Vientiane authorities have resolved a significant number of cases of illegal car imports and import tax avoidance over the past six months, recovering funds due to support the nation’s budget.
The 382 vehicles seized in the capital were …
The start of a project highlights Vientiane’s continuing struggle with the issue even as it receives foreign assistance.Read more
The government expects to pursue economic growth to at least seven percent in 2018, the same level expected for 2017, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The ministry is drafting the budget plan for 2018, which will be ….
Lao government says it is ready to recruit new stakeholders for Lao Airlines as part of its efforts to overhaul state-owned enterprises.Read more
The ‘Vientiane People’s Road Fund’ is sparking strong concerns and expressions of annoyance from members of the public fearing they’ll be hit in the hip pocket if it comes into effect next year.Read more
Authorities have found that many petrol stations in the capital and Savannakhet and Champassak provinces cheated their consumers by not providing sufficient amounts of fuel.Read more
Fearful that Thailand’s new labor rules will get them into trouble, tens of thousands of migrant workers are returning to neighboring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, causing hardship to themselves and their Thai employers.Read more
Laos is preparing to launch its “Visit Laos Year 2018” to promote the tourism industry and revive interest in the country at a time when visits are declining.Read more
Construction of the Laos-Thailand railway extension linking the existing outer suburban station to central Vientiane is expected to begin at year’s end or early next year after the project was suspended in 2011.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
Students, teachers and administrators of state and private colleges and other educational institutions await official confirmation on whether courses of study can be accredited towards Bachelor and higher-level degrees for the coming academic year.Read more
The government has instructed relevant sectors to take further action to address illegal vehicle imports after learning more were imported into Laos than previously reportedRead more
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered provincial and district line departments to take actions to address land disputes, unlawful land occupations and related issues.Read more
Thailand is preparing to sign a tripartite electricity-trading agreement with two neighbouring countries at the upcoming Asean Ministers of Energy Meeting.Read more
China’s embassy in Laos has issued a safety warning to its citizens there after a Chinese national was shot dead in the country’s Xaysomboun province.Read more
The US dollar and Thai baht have continued to appreciate against the Lao kip over recent weeks, sparking concerns that the currency fluctuation could further drive up prices of products sold in Laos.Read more
Health authorities say Laos still faces challenges in preventing dengue fever this year, especially with the emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is more severe and life-threatening than other forms of dengue, all of which are spread by the Aedesaegypti mosquito.Read more
Business loans given to private companies have not increased this year since the government limited finance granted to developers for carrying out infrastructure projects.Read more
As tour buses pull up in front of San Jiang Market, not far from Wattay International Airport, a guide beckons to a group of Chinese tourists. They soon disappear into the jungle of shops bearing signs in Chinese characters, many of which sell “local specialties,” or any illicit wildlife product imaginable.Read more
A recent study by the Asian Development Bank shows that the number of immigrants with university degrees who left to work in richer nations in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development surged 66% in the decade through 2010-2011 to 2.8 million.Read more
Phu Bia Mining Company is targeting to produce 80,000-90,000 tonnes of copper, 70,000-80,000 oz of gold and 600,000 oz of silver this year at Phu Kham in Anouvong district, Xaysomboun province.Read more
Lao Government has removed several steps of filling in forms for tourist arrival in Laos to promote and attract more tourists and form a better regional and international links.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
The number of overseas tourist arrivals in Laos is decreased by 12 percent in the first three months of 2017, downing from 1.24 million people in the same period last year to 1.11 million people in March this year.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
The choice of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism has risen in popularity as a time and cost-effective option to resolve commercial disputes. By including an arbitration clause in contractual arrangements, contracting parties may agree in advance on the seat and rules of arbitration, the size of the arbitration panel and even the rules to ….Read more
The Laos-China railway is planning to be officially operational in December 2021 with many tunnels already being boredRead more
Thailand and Laos will work together on a tourism campaign dubbed “Two Countries, One Destination” aimed at boosting arrivals on both sides of the border.Read more
Source: Bangkok Post Travel operators in Laos have urged the Thai government to extend the closing time at border checkpointsRead more
The government has approved the Vientiane-Vangvieng expressway’s corridor and legislation in a move to boost socio-economic development.Read more
The IMF also expressed concerns about the nation’s declining levels of foreign-currency reserves, a rising budget deficit and relatively high levels of public debt.Read more
The Ministry of Finance will start to issue 2017 road tax stickers in August, but vehicle owners will be paying more this year.Read more
Investors who have overseas exposure should take advantage of the baht, which is close to this year’s highest level, by swapping the local currency for the US dollar, says Credit Suisse Thailand.Read more
National Assembly members began debating the latest draft of the Civil Code yesterday, the country’s first legal framework on civil relations.Read more
Two Americans who are passionate about quality coffee are promoting plantations of the crop in partnership with farmers in Huaphan province, the former revolutionary stronghold.Read more
The US dropped 270 million bombs on Laos during the Vietnam war. More than 40 years later, the devices are still killing peopleRead more
Experts say the Chinese have brought jobs and higher wages to northern Laos, but have also drenched plantations with pesticides and other chemicals.Read more
The government has approved a total of US$1.11 billion in domestic and foreign private investments during the first quarter of this year.Read more
Grants provided to Laos by foreign countries in the first quarter of 2017 dropped by more than half compared to the same period last fiscal year, the government has told parliament.Read more
Many companies are still facing challenges in preparing to list on the Lao stock exchange. Companies are having difficulties in terms of their accounting methods and their understanding of capital markets as they prepare to list on the country’s stock exchange.Read more
The prices of food staples in Laos are still around 10-20 percent higher compared to neighbouring countries especially Thailand and Vietnam, the National Assembly (NA) was informed.
The price of Grade A pork in Laos is ….
The Ministry of Finance has admitted that the government faced a deficit of government budget of over 950 billion kip in the first quarter of this fiscal year.Read more
Team BUG5, a group of three young innovators from Laos has earned the nomination to represent Laos in the South East Asia Regional Final Round of 15th Microsoft Imagine Cup 2017, Microsoft’s global accelerator program to empower the next generation of computer science students. They will make history as the very first Laotian team to get qualified for Imagine Cup regional finals.Read more
Laos’ newly-amended Investment Promotion Law has moved to cut by half the maximum investment period for new concession projects to 50 years, down from the previous maximum period of 99 years.
The move is aimed at maximizing investment benefits for the Lao economy, an official from the Ministry of Planning and Investment involved in …
In just the three days of the Lao New Year holiday 159 road accidents occurred across the country resulting in 22 fatalities with incidents of drunk driving and speeding higher than ever.Read more
Economists have warned the government needs a long-term strategy for managing its burgeoning debt against obligations while it works on securing more efficient and additional revenue sources.
At the moment, Laos requires 1,559 billion kip to meet its budget expenditure following revenue shortfall in the first quarter of this year.
Thailand and Cambodia remain leading electricity importers from Laos among the ten-member Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).Read more
The Thai baht has continued to appreciate against the Lao kip over the past few weeks, which could further drive up the price of products imported from the southern neighbour.
The Thai baht had increased by 5 percent against the Lao kip since earlier this month. The increase was due to the market principle of demand and supply as 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 ….
The That Luang Swamp Special Economic Zone Committee has disclaimed international news reports that foreigners who purchase a condominium in the new That Luang Swamp Special Economic Zone will automatically be granted Lao citizenship.
“A foreigner (who) buys a condominium in the That Luang Swamp Special Economic Zone will be eligible to stay in the country for 10 years without ….
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 ….
Laos’ economic growth is picking up in 2017 and 2018, supported by the expansion of production and sale of electricity, buoyant services sector growth, and construction of the cross-border railway, according to a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for Laos is forecasted to reach
In the latest flare up in tensions between the two countries, Lao authorities temporarily shut a border crossing with Cambodia and dispatched more troops to an undemarcated area on the northern border after Cambodian authorities began renovating an old French border outpost.
According to local officials, Laos shut the Voen Kham border crossing in Stung Treng province’s O’Svay commune on Sunday and ….
sponsored article Lao Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (LAPB) has officially changed its corporate identity to Heineken Lao Brewery Co., LtdRead more
Source: RFA Lao police have arrested fugitive drug kingpin Sisouk Dauheuang, an associate of Xaysana “Mr. X “ Keophimpha whoRead more
The Ministry of Finance is seeking consultations with business sector operators and government agencies on the new implementing instructions for the revised value-added tax (VAT) Law, aiming to make tax collection procedures more transparent.
The revised VAT Law, which was approved in January, is expected to make paying taxes easier for local businesses as well as helping to improve the business climate in ….
The last year’s investment in Vientiane Capital fetched over 36.9 trillion kip (USD 4.48 billion) mostly in commercial production and systematic food security projects.
The gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 10.90% with an average per capita of US$4,700,Vientiane Mayor Sinlavong Khoutphaythoun briefed. There were three economic-driven sectors in ….
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 US hotel giant has penned a deal with TPD Company to manage the 160-room DoubleTree by Hilton Vientiane, which is scheduled to open in the Lao capital in early 2020.
Located in the centre of the city, on the intersection of Rue Setthathilath and Rue Manthatourath, about 5km from the Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport, the upscale hotel will be close to the ….
On the outskirts of the Lao capital, a blue passenger train rattles from its station and across a dry landscape.
Reverberating sirens ring out as boom gates block a nearby road, a handful of motorcyclists almost bemused by the misfortune of being made to wait.
This is the only operating railway in the entire country. The connector with Thailand spans just 3.5km of Laos itself before ……
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, the new drivers for Asean and Asian economic growth, should come up with a joint master plan for connectivity and key infrastructure development to strengthen the region’s competitiveness, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
“Given a combined population of 230 million people and average economic growth of 6-8%, the five countries are …
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 …
The boring of tunnels for the Laos-China railway is expected to begin in the next few weeks following a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the project in December last year.
The tunnel entrances have been earmarked and concreted in preparation for boring, the ….
There have been almost 9,000 newly registered vehicles in the first two months of this year thanks to ongoing socio-economic growth.
The Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department disclosed this week that in only two months from January to February, there were 8,972 newly registered vehicles bringing the total number of newly registered vehicles in Vientiane Capital to ….
Source: Vientiane Times The government is encouraging an increasing number of young people to enter the business world, especially thoseRead more
The labour and security sectors are gearing up to register and issue temporary work permits to foreign workers as part of government efforts to strictly regulate foreign nationals.
According to a report from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, some 24,000 foreign workers were registered over the last year, mostly Vietnamese, ….
Lao outbound travellers made more than 3.05 million trips in 2016 and more people are suggested to have made longer-distance trips in foreign countries, the latest statistics showed.
Though 2016’s figure slightly decreased from more than 3.06 million trips and the 3.3 million trips recorded in 2015 and 2014 respectively, the number of Lao nationals travelling by planes increased to the ….
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Laos’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow at 6.8 percent this year, less than the government’s projected rate of 7 percent.
The IMF Executive Board concluded the Article IV consultation  with Laos recently, describing Laos’ challenges in dealing with the current account deficit, falling foreign currency reserves, and growing ….
The government has agreed in principle to a plan to build a 14-km expressway linking Vientiane city centre to the outskirts in Xaythany district, in a bid to ease congestion.
The project was agreed to at the government’s monthly meeting for February held last week at the Prime Minister’s Office when the concept of the multimillion US dollar project was presented and discussed ….
Economists have expressed concern over non-performing loans (NPL) that banks have given to the private sector.
Bankers said NPLs are currently higher than the rate of 3 percent set by the Bank of the Lao PDR, which could have negative impacts on financial and economic stability.
A senior banker who asked not to be named said the rising NPL rate is linked to ….
Laos should increase its revenues by broadening the tax base, reducing exemptions, and strengthening tax administration, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its Article IV Report for the country.
The IMF said the country’s authorities have taken some important measures recently, including improving the …
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has stressed for land to be the main focus of transportation development in the country, calling for careful decisions on every water and air transportation project.
He praised the sector for their achievements made over the past forty years or more, which he says has seen huge differences in infrastructure development in comparison to the time ….
Property investors are currently drawing up a law that will call on the National Assembly (NA) to consider foreigners to be able to purchase apartments, according to officials in the sector.
Under the Investment Promotion Law that was put into effect in 2014, foreigners with a registered investment of US$500,000 can own a plot of residential land but officials from the Ministry of Planning and Investment say they have found it difficult to enforce the ….
WITH agriculture in Laos improving year by year, a new farm in Vientiane called the Lao Dairy Farm is carving out a sizeable share of the fresh milk market. Its main selling point is that the quality of its pasteurised milk is as good as imported brands.
The farm is located in Naxineua village, Naxaithong district. It keeps a variety of ….
Despite Laos officially performing well overall economically in 2016, some large firms still face major hurdles in doing business, according to a leading corporate executive.
General Manager External Affairs, PanAust Ltd./Managing Director PBM Ltd., Mr Richard Taylor, made the comment recently in an article posted on the professional social media site LinkedIn.
His article detailed three key issues that would shape 2017 for both Laos and Myanmar, which have ….
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in cooperation with four other ministries and the Bank of the Lao PDR recently approved a decision on postal service prohibitions.
The decision specifies regulations and measures concerning the prohibition of certain items, to prevent the sending and receiving of illegal goods by mail and ensure that postal operations are ….
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has pledged to find solutions to the many land issues that have emerged and the government has formed a taskforce committee to investigate the problems and resolve them.
The committee will investigate land concessions, the transfer of land use rights in various cases, implementation of ….
Director of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Mr Vanpheng Chanthaphone and Vice President of the Swiss NGO PACTEC International Mr Gerald Bourgeois last month gave the first professional pilots trained in Laos their wings.
The six students – including one young woman – started their training at the Civil Aviation Flight Training Centre (CAFTC) in Vientiane in ….
The construction of garment factories in Laos has continued only gradually this year as the industry is still struggling to source workers to supply its factories, according to an official related to the sector.
Vice President of the Association of the Lao Garment Industry, Dr Xaybandith Rasphone explained that the construction of garment factories is expected to proceed slowly again this year as it ….
A Queensland citrus grower has taken on the extraordinary challenge of helping develop a brand new citrus industry in Laos, South-East Asia.
Ironbark Lao general manager Sue Jenkins and her husband Allan have a well-established orchard in Mundubbera in the North Burnett. Ms Jenkins said she was looking for a new career challenge and a way to give …..
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on Tuesday handed in his BMW 7 Series, following up on a promise made by the country’s leaders that they will no longer drive expensive luxury vehicles in an attempt to exercise frugality.
President Bounnhang Vorachit, who is Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, was also expected to give back his BMW 7 Series yesterday, an official at the ….
The electricity supply in various special and specific economic zones has been stable, enabling factories to operate smoothly, a minister has said.
Minister of Energy and Mines Dr. Khammany Inthilath outlined the situation to local media recently. He admitted that foreign investors, notably Japanese and Korean companies who were considering shifting their production bases to Laos, had inquired about ….
Numerous officials at the central and local levels have been found to have been involved in corrupt conduct which has resulted in a huge loss of financial resources.
The activities were revealed by the State Inspection Authority (SIA) when reporting on the results of their inspections over the past year. Some officials from the agriculture sector in Saravan province were involved in document forgery, defrauding the state of …..
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is working with the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL) to reform its credit-reporting framework.
This is part of a wider effort to improve the country’s financial infrastructure, facilitate lending for smaller businesses, and boost economic ….
The Vientiane People’s Council has approved a proposal for the construction of a 14-km highway submitted by city authorities in a bid to ease traffic congestion.
The six-lane highway will be built parallel to Kaysone Phomvihane Road.
The planned road will be 70 metres wide and run from the Lao International Trade Exhibition and ….
Asia’s smallest economies are growing faster than giants like China, according to the World Bank.
Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar will post the most rapid expansions in Asia after India from 2017 to 2019, sustaining growth rates of close to 7 percent, according to forecasts released this week. Among the least developed countries, the combined size of the three economies is less than $100 billion, about a third of …..
With the future of U.S.-China relations an open question for the incoming Donald Trump administration, many have focused on whether the president-elect’s promise to withdraw from negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will enhance Beijing’s growing influence in East Asia. But rather than hand-wringing over TPP’s ignominious failure, Asia watchers should turn their attention to …..Read more
Public debt that has been accumulating for years to the present high level will be considerably lowered in five years’ time, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has said.
“Debt has been heavily accumulated over the past years. It will take us at least five years to allocate [funds for repayment] and overcome the debt,” he told a recent meeting in Vientiane, which gave instructions on ….
As Laos struggles to ensure prompt payment of state workers’ salaries, government employees in some areas are forced to spend half their working hours at private work, threatening the efficient functioning of their departments, sources say.
Speaking to RFA’s Lao Service on condition of anonymity, a community development expert based in the capital Vientiane said that government officials in ….
With a gross domestic product (GDP) averaging 7 per cent since 2000, the Laos economy is among the fastest growing in Asean. Despite this, in recent years the Laos economy has trended downwards. Amid global economic uncertainty, it remains to be seen how Laos will manage its macroeconomic policies and export diversification strategy.
The Laos economy is estimated to grow by 6.8 per cent in 2016, partly due to the …..
Top Lao officials will have to give up the keys to their government-purchased BMW and Mercedes Benz automobiles as the politburo has decided that they can drive cheaper Toyotas instead.
The move comes as Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith attempts to reign in corruption in the impoverished nation where high-raking officials have used the …..
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 …..
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith says he wants to end the Lao government’s policy of bartering land for development, in a reversal of a long-term practice that has seen large swaths of the country go to foreign-backed investors.
“The business sector should not convince the governmental sector to create debts for the nation,” Thongloun told the Lao version of the chamber of commerce earlier this month. “In recent years, many big development projects, including ….
From December 31st immigration checkpoints at land border crossings into Thailand will only allow visitors to enter the Kingdom on a visa exemption stamp twice in a calendar year, bringing an end to the much used loophole of staying in the country by doing back to back border hops.
Citizens of certain countries, including ….
The government has instructed its anti-corruption body to work out necessary measures and carry out inspection to fight against corruption in all forms.
Chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the meeting entrusted a committee in charge of debt payment for state investment projects to draw up measures for debt payment so that ….
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will officially launch the start of construction for the Laos-China railway project at a ceremony on December 25.The ceremony to kick off railway construction will take place in Luang Prabang district’s Phonxay village where a railway bridge spanning the Mekong River will ….Read more
The total value of goods, imports and exports to Laos is expected to see an overall trade surplus of an estimated US$73 million at the year’s end, with data currently available for the first nine months of 2016.
The value of exports is expected to reach US$4.081 billion or 10.29 percent over the plan while the value of imports is expected to reach US$4.008 billion, or 76 percent of the plan, according to ….
Laos is a resource rich economy in terms of mining and hydropower, although there have been very few studies on the matter, and the Lao government has not yet designed relevant policy options for managing the country’s resources.
To promote broad-based growth in Laos, it is important to consider the policy options, according to the ….
Prospects for the mining sector in Laos remain unclear as members of the national legislature mull a more interventionist approach to operators with relevant labor， taxation or environmental laws.
A National Assembly legislator said Monday that Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith is even considering a “halt to mining operations …..
Balancing the available workforce with the reality of the job market, which includes hiring workers for new jobs and reshuffling officials into new positions, has fallen far short of the annual target, the government told the National Assembly recently.
Only 48,236 people were placed in new jobs over the first 10 months of the 2015-16 fiscal year, representing just 33.68 percent of the ….
Poverty reduction has slowed a little but the government will strive to reduce the number of poor families from 6.56 percent in 2016 down to 6.09 percent by 2017, the government has told the National Assembly.
There are four main reasons for the slower rate of poverty reduction, Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Souphanh Keomixay told the ongoing ordinary session of parliament when he presented a …..
Trillions of kip have been lost due to the continued violation of financial regulations by ministries, government agencies, and state enterprises.
These include losses due to tax discounts and exemptions on the import and export of goods, the illegal transfer of state property, and other financial …..
Illegal financial institutions that have sourced funds by offering abnormally high interest rates will face legal measures, the governor of the central bank has warned.
Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Dr Somphao Phaysith, told the ongoing ordinary session of the National Assembly (NA) that 24 institutions have been found acquiring deposits illegally. He said the bank has issued a notice instructing these institutions to …..
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce on Tuesday announced that fuel prices would rise across the country as from yesterday.
In Vientiane the cost of premium grade petrol will rise from 8,350 kip to 8,500 a litre, regular petrol will increase in price from 7,350 kip to …..
The government’s proposal to revise the next four-year budget plan (2017-2020) will see the budget deficit increase to 4.39 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up by 0.32 percent compared to the four-year plan approved earlier by the National Assembly (NA).
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Somdy Duangdy presented the proposed plan to the ….
Laos has more males than females, while the birth rate per woman has fallen, according to the final report on the 4th Population and Housing Census, which took place in March last year.
“The figures recorded by the census show that Laos has a population of almost 6.5 million of whom 3,237,227 are female and …..
Revenue collection for this fiscal year reached only 95 percent of the annual plan, driving the budget deficit to 6.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), higher than the maximum of five percent usually adopted by the government.
Economists have warned that such high deficits will increase public debt, with the country having already accumulated considerable debt that will ….
Some students in Lao universities and teachers in central Laos are feeling a financial squeeze as scholarship students are facing increased fees while some high school teachers are still waiting for paychecks, RFA’s Lao Service has learned.
Students in pedagogical college and the Souphanouvong University in Luang Prabang province are questioning why they are being required to pay the fees while they are on ….
The Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance will begin collecting Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments next month with the department readying equipment and human resources.
“At the beginning we will be collecting VAT at the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge between Nong Khai province and Vientiane followed by the other international border …..
Thai airlines will soon be allowed to operate more flights to Vientiane, Laos, according to the Thai-Lao accord approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
The quota is raised from 2,100 seats to 14,500 for the flights from Bangkok to Vientiane. Meanwhile, from Vientiane to Bangkok, the quota is …..
Laos’ extremely low unemployment rate has been queried by economists and jobseekers alike with many university graduates struggling to find work.
According to tradingeconomics.com citing the World Bank, the unemployment rate in Laos is expected to be 1.40 percent for the fourth quarter of this year, which is predicted to rise to …..
Laos’ economic growth is to remain robust through 2016 up to 2018, the World Bank has said.
Economic growth in Laos is projected to moderate but still remain robust at around seven percent in 2016, driven by the power sector, some recovery of agriculture and continued dynamism in ….
Commercial banks in Laos have lowered the interest rates charged on loans and offered on kip accounts in line with a recent decision made by the Bank of the Lao PDR, hoping to stimulate economic activity.
Conversely banks have raised the interest rates offered on Thai baht and US dollar deposit accounts hoping to build up …..
Laos’ ruling communist party, Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, has vowed to strengthen efforts in fighting corruption, state-run online newspaper Vientiane Times reported Saturday.
Taking a tougher stance in the battle against corruption and inappropriate bureaucracy was one of the most important decisions of …..
Laos recorded its highest inflation rates this year in July and August, but economists say overall regional inflation remains low linked to lower commodity prices.
According to the Bank of the Lao PDR, the Consumer Price Index in July this year stood at 102.04 with the inflation rate at 1.97 percent before declining to 1.85 percent in August.
Generally speaking, the inflation rate in Laos has been lower than …
Laos is not at risk of developing into a bubble economy despite the apparent ongoing building boom particularly in the capital, according to leading economists on Tuesday.
This is because overall growth in the real estate sector is actually quite sluggish and most investment is from overseas interests, mainly China and Vietnam.
Another factor preventing the forming of a Lao asset …..
Lao economists are optimistic that economic cooperation between Laos and Republic of Korea will surge after eight cooperation documents were signed by the two countries last week.
The agreements relate to industry and commerce, energy and mining, employment, social welfare, grant aid, construction of eco-friendly energy villages, healthcare and …..
Construction of a historic railway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border over a distance of 427 km is expected to begin in December this year, an official in charge has said.
Agreements with six Chinese construction companies and six consultancy firms will be finalised next month which will pave the way for the start of construction at the end of…..
Last week, the usually sleepy capital of Vientiane was awoken amidst the commotion and hustle bustle of the 29th ASEAN Summit. Within four days, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic had hosted a flurry of official meetings, negotiations, and historic agreements, such as President Barack Obama’s pledge of $90 million to remove unexploded ordnance.
It was a historic week for Laos, a landlocked country often dwarfed by its more dynamic …..
Laos and the United States have unveiled a comprehensive partnership aimed at starting a fresh era of bilateral relations based on mutual respect and benefits.
The new partnership was revealed during talks held in Vientiane yesterday between President Bounnhang Vorachit and US President Barack Obama.
The new comprehensive partnership will lay the foundations for ….
The bombs, as one Laotian described it, “fell like rain”, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday on a visit to Laos, a first for any sitting US president.
“Given our history here, I believe that the United States has a moral obligation to help Laos heal,” he said.
He referred to America’s secret and devastating bombing of Laos during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s.
Some $90m (£68m) will be spent over ….
A new economic order will emerge by 2030, with Southeast Asia taking on a central role, Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told business leaders in his nation’s capital on Monday.
“Studies have shown that the ASEAN economy is expected to grow at 7% per annum, with a GDP reaching $4.7 trillion in 2020, and the possibility of becoming the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2030,” Thongloun said in his …..
For three days in early September, Obama will take part in the U.S-ASEAN and East Asia summits in the capital city of Vientiane. In the context of this programme he will have a bilateral meeting with Laos President, Bounnhang Vorachith, and attend a town hall session with young leaders.
On the surface, a visit to a country with only six million people
Numerous foreign leaders have confirmed their attendance to the 28th and 29th Asean Summits and related meetings to be held back-to-back in Vientiane early next month .
US President Barack Obama, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and President of Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye have so far been reported to have confirmed their …
Many sections of main roads in central and northern provinces have been blocked or collapsed following landslides caused by the effects of Typhoon Dianmu on the weekend.
Roads falling away or being blocked have hindered buses and other vehicles making their way along major northern routes causing lengthy delays.
In response, local public works and transport sectors are …..
Revenue collected over the past 10 months of the 2015-16 fiscal year has accomplished only 74.52 percent of the set annual plan approved by the National Assembly, according to financial officials.
The revenue shortfall has further escalated budgetary tensions, creating greater concerns for the government to seek more funding to meet expenditure needs.
Economists worried that the failure to collect the ….
The Taxation Department of the Ministry of Finance is aiming to introduce new land and road tax rates to boost government revenue for next fiscal year.
According to the Taxation Department’s report for the first seven months of the 2015-2016 fiscal year they were yet to determine what the percentage increase would be for the numerous categories of land and road tax.
At present tax is collected for land and vehicles at many different rates depending …..
Agricultural officials have soothed coffee growers enough in the southern province of Xekong before they began pulling their crops in favour of others due to a recent drop in price.
Officials have advised the farmers in Dakcheung district not to cut down their trees simply because of the low prices.
The province’s coffee plantations are ….
A US$65-million-plus Mekong River Integrated Management Project in Pakse town, Champassak province is set to begin construction at the end of this year, officials in charge of the project have confirmed.
The project comprises four components including the construction of an embankment along the Mekong and Xedon rivers which totals over ….
Laos’ currency is not over-valued, a trade ministry official said on Saturday, rejecting an IMF assessment that the kip was too strong for a country with a large current account deficit.
The Asian Development Bank expects the external deficit to widen to 20 percent of GDP in 2017 from 17 percent in 2016, a level considered dangerous for …..
The government has announced that it will recruit only 5,000 new employees in 2017 in line with the country’s development needs.
The new quota of civil servants has been allocated based on the financial capacity of the government to pay officials’ salaries.
The new quota was designed mainly to offset the number of officials who ….
In June 2016, the SWITCH-Asia project Improved Cookstoves (ICS) celebrated the production and sale of 100,000 ICS since the project began in 2013.
The ICS project has contributed to poverty alleviation in Lao PDR through the development of a sustainable consumption and production chain of fuel efficient ICS, which reduces the use of wood and charcoal and lowers …..
Party Chief and President Bounnhang Vorachit has instructed the top anti-corruption body to appropriately punish those officials found violating the regulations in a bid to stamp out malpractice and lax discipline.
The president also endorsed the creation of measures that would enable members of the public to participate in inspection work …..
Economists warn that Laos will need to take a proactive approach to attract foreign direct investment if the country is to sustain economic growth of 7.5 percent annually over the next five years.
According to a recent government report, Laos will need about 223 trillion kip (US$27 billion), equal to 30 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), over the period ….
Southeast Asia’s main grouping opened a meeting of their foreign ministers Sunday, deeply divided on how to deal with China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea that has impacted some of its members and whipped up an increasing diplomatic quagmire.
Laos is hosting the gathering of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which traditionally ends with a joint statement. But the sticking point is whether to include a reference to the ….
Seven people have been injured in UXO-related accidents so far this year, according to a report from the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for UXO/Mine Action in the Lao PDR.
NRA Deputy Director Mr Bounpheng Sisawath said that from January 1 to July 19 there had been three UXO-related accidents in which seven people sustained injuries but no ….
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 ….
The relationship between Thailand and Laos was supposed to develop further than it has since the two countries passed a turbulent period when the last people of Hmong ethnicity left the Kingdom in 2010. Despite international criticism over the forced repatriation, the two countries have managed to build a form of “trust” since then. Vientiane cannot blame Thailand any more for….Read more
Xepon district in Savannakhet province and Toumlan district in Xekong province are the poorest districts in Laos with people living in extreme poverty, while pockets of poverty also exist in urban centres, according to a new report.
The Lao Statistics Bureau released the report yesterday, titled: Where Are the Poor? Its findings make up the …..
The government is mulling a revision of electricity tariffs after Electricite du Laos (EDL) submitted a draft revision that proposes reducing power fees to the government for consideration and approval.
If approved, EDL will subsidise up to six billion kip per month in power costs as per the proposed revision set to …..
The government has reaffirmed its commitment to giving the green light to foreign businesses seeking opportunities for investment in the country.
This was the statement made by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone during the launch of the 4th China-South Asia Expo and the 24th China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair on June 12.
In his opening remarks, Dr Sonexay said that although Laos does not share a border with the sea, based on….
The NBTC and Laos’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) signed an agreement in February to cooperate on telecoms cooperation issues.
The NBTC will invest Bt7 million for the system, which will allow mobile phone users to use their fingerprint and ID to register via applications for mobile phones, tablets and …
More and more Japanese companies are investing in Laos given that the country is integrating with the region and the world and is improving its investment climate.
As of last month, the number of Japanese companies in Laos had climbed to 132, which is double the figure recorded in 2012, according to ….
For the southwestern city of Kunming, China’s plan to extend a high-speed rail link 3,000 km (1,875 miles) south to Singapore is already a boon: pristine expressways, a gleaming station and something of a real estate boom, as young buyers crowd property showrooms.
In Laos, work has yet to start on what should be the first overseas leg of a rail line stretching throughout Southeast Asia. The country, one of the region’s poorest, could struggle to finance even part of the …
The high cost of tour services in Laos is a major challenge for Lao tourism businesses when it comes to competing within the Asean region.
Median expenditure level for a traveller in Laos is about US$65 a day, while in neighbouring Asean countries average visitors paid only US$45, President of the Lao Association of Travel Agents told yesterday.
“Until now we cannot decide what the reasons behind the …..
Although more tourists visited Luang Prabang province this year than ever before, the rate of growth has not been as high as anticipated, a senior tourism official has noted.
Much more needs to be done in terms of marketing and creating confidence among international tourists, to encourage them to visit the World Heritage town.
“The number of tourist arrivals in the province reached …..
The Lao economy is projected to expand by 7 percent in 2016, with power generation expected to increase by more than 30 percent over 2015, according to the World Bank’s latest update of the Lao Economic Monitor 2016.
Laos has one of the fastest growing economies in the East Asia and Pacific region. It expanded by ….
The Taxation Department reported recently that tax payments across the country had decreased 5.1 percent during the first seven months of the 2015-16 fiscal year, in comparison to the previous year.
Tax collection in the first seven months of 2015-16 reached 4,678.67 billion kip or 46. 4 percent of the target.
Meanwhile at the provincial level, tax authorities were able to collect …..
The Department of Public Works and Transport expects the number of vehicle imports to Laos to continue to grow at around 10 per cent even though numbers have slowed somewhat in the first three months of ….Read more
Myanmar and Laotian state media reported that Suu Kyi accompanied Myanmar President Htin Kyaw on the visit, which came at the invitation of the president of Laos, Bounnhang Vorachit.
Htin Kyaw was the first head of state to be hosted by Bounnhang, who officially assumed his post just three weeks ago.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen relations and cooperation between …..
The enormous drop in revenue generated from mining coupled with improper budget planning has been the main cause of the budget tensions Laos has faced over the past few years, Deputy Prime Minister Somdy Douangdy told parliament recently.
Mr Somdy, who is also Minister of Finance, addressed the National Assembly (NA)’s inaugural session recently, highlighting the main causes of the financial …..
Laos is preparing to certify its homegrown coffee as a Geographical Indicator (GI) and as a member of the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).
The move will help to maintain the value of Lao coffee, after progressive price decreases over the past two years.
The Lao Coffee Association is consulting with government and private entities about the duties and …..
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 …..
Members of the National Assembly’s 8th Legislature elected Mr Bounnhang Vorachit as the new President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic at the Assembly’s inaugural session this morning.
They also elected Mr Phankham Viphavanh as …..
As Vietnam suffers its worst drought in nearly a century and Cambodia faces a water shortage that could jeopardise the livelihoods of 1.5 million people, debates have been reignited over the mega dams built along the Mekong.
Once referred to as ‘one of the world’s last great stretches of undammed river‘, the Mekong could well become one of the most dammed rivers in Asia. By 2030, 70 dams will …..
The government is taking a tough stance on financial transparency as well as crime prevention, especially in the area of money laundering, to help encourage foreign direct investment in Laos.
As part of government’s efforts to bring the country’s financial standards in line with international systems, the Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL)’s Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Unit yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ….
The local garment industry has contracted in the wake of labour shortages, the Association of the Lao Garment Industry has reported.
From 2003 to 2011, the garment industry expanded but since 2012 a downward trend has prevailed. “Labour shortage issues have caused new investors to lose interest in Laos, instead shifting their capital to neighbouring countries, especially Cambodia, …….
The Lao economy is projected to grow by about 7.7 percent this fiscal year 2015-16, slightly up from 7.6 percent last fiscal year according to the National Economic Research Institute (NERI).
The figure was reported yesterday at the Lao Economy in 2014-15 and Outlook for 2015-16 meeting, which was organised by ….
The Livestock and Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has suspended the import of piglets and pork as Lao farmers are currently able to produce sufficient supply to meet domestic demand.
In its announcement, issued last month, the department said the domestic production of pork and piglets was sufficient for local consumption and there was even a surplus in …..
Oscar-winning producer Lord Puttnam was recently walking along Luang Prabang’s streets. He notices a fine-looking four-storey hotel topped with a terrace. He hikes up the stairs and takes in the view. He then asks the staff if he can order a drink. The smiling worker replies, “Yes sir, on the first floor.”
Lord Puttnam’s anecdote kicked off his keynote address at the 18th Lanith Symposium on the challenges and barriers in …..
Millions of cubic metres of water may be lost from rivers in Laos from March to May as the mercury soars to its highest levels and rainfall is scant.
The Meteorology Department has reported that some areas were likely to be seriously affected by water shortages from the end of this month until early ….
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 Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has noted that the biggest challenge for Laos’ first satellite is to ensure it can gain as much benefit from the space asset as it can after LaoSAT1 was handed over to the government.
The minister stressed the importance of gaining the maximum benefits for the country from the satellite. “In particular, in the economic sense, how can we make profits in order to pay off the ……
It has been a long day for Community Radio Volunteer Ms. Mouddala Keonheun. By the time she arrives at the Lakonepheng Community Radio Station, the sun is already starting to set on the small, square building, rising solidly out of a sparse cow and goat paddock in the south of Laos.
Mouddala is a teacher at the local school. Every day after class she loads her ….
Thai AirAsia will inaugurate a daily flight from Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport) to Luang Prabang in Lao PDR effective 24 March.
In the past, authorities rejected applications by low-cost airlines to fly to Luang Prabang. The country also opted out of the ASEAN Open Skies agreement, apparently to protect its national airline, at the expense of its fledging ….
Laos, often called the “Battery of Asean”, will live up to its name by supplying Asean power at a critical time, when energy demand in the region’s fast growing economies threatens shortages amid several infrastructure and urbanisation projects.
Thailand, which depends on natural gas for 70 per cent of its electricity needs, has been struggling due to the depletion local reserves while suppliers like Myanmar are cutting back supplies ….
Laos’s Communist Party on Friday chose Bounnhang Vorachit to be its new leader after a vote by a newly formed central committee that did not include the prime minister and former party chief, signaling their political exits.
The country’s official KPL news agency said Bounnhang, the 78-year-old current vice president, won the leadership vote on Friday at 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 ……
The roadsides leading out of the main cities in Lao PDR are lined with numerous small retail shops, which are mostly owned by women, offering a variety of locally-made products, among them a selection of ceramic cook stoves. A vast majority of households in Laos cook on these portable stoves, using wood or charcoal.
Most of these small family businesses along the roadsides sell about ….
Lao PDR has launched a logo, campaign theme and website to support its ASEAN chairmanship in 2016.
The campaign features will focus on welcoming the ASEAN Economic Community era in 2016.
The ASEAN 2016 logo features 10 connected circles, comprising …..
President Barack Obama plans to visit Laos next year to attend a regional economic summit, making him the first US president to visit that country, an advisor said Wednesday.
Obama will make history when he attends an ASEAN conference in the poor but economically growing country, which was massively bombed by the United States during the …..
Many people in Vientiane have begun to request the newly made Value Added Tax (VAT) invoices after learning the receipts may contain prizes, with tax officials hoping that the new incentives will boost revenue collection.
“I’d like a VAT invoice because I may win a prize,” said a customer at a small barber shop in Phontong village, Chanthabouly district, Vientiane last weekend. “If this invoice really contains prizes, it is better than……
Laos’ first telecommunications satellite (Lao Sat-1) will be launched into orbit on November 21 to spur many facets of development and industry.
The satellite, which is owned by the Lao Sat-1 Joint Venture Company, will be part of a network of satellites in Laos and overseas that provide various communication services.
It will enhance communication links for government work, television …..
ON THE Bolaven Plateau, Bounthong Thepkaisone waded through his 5-hectare coffee plantation in Mai village, Pakxong district, in Laos’ Champasak province.
For Bounthong, producing coffee is his present and future. The same can be said for many of the 1,855 farmer families in his community that make up the Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers Cooperative (CPC), an organisation of ….
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 ……
SIXTY-FIVE companies from Laos and foreign countries including Thailand at the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone have created over 4,500 jobs for local people.
From now until 2020, both local and overseas companies are expected to hire another …..
Laos’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is expected to moderate to 6.4 percent due to lower external demand and credit growth that is offset by an increased contribution from the resource sector this year, according to the latest World Bank Report.
In addition, the East Asia Pacific region is expected to grow …..
The groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of the Laos-China rail project to link Laos with China and other Asean member counties is expected to begin in November if things go as planned, a minister said on Friday.
Construction of the project, which was initially estimated to cost US$6.8 billion, will take about five years to complete. The two governments agreed that …..