How To Protect Your Intellectual Property In 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.

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Will Costs Continue To Cage Laos’ Regional Connectivity?

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.

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Laos Dances To Survive Between China and Vietnam

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.

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With Its Environmental Crisis, Is Laos Missing The Forest For The Trees?

Laos’ reputation as having some of the most lush and diverse forests in the Mekong remains under serious threat after a December investigation by government officials found evidence of large-scale illegal logging operations in the southern Attapeu province, despite recent efforts to end the practice. Laos, which is left with just 40 percent of the country covered by closed canopy forests, is facing an environmental crisis with much of the remaining forests unhealthy and degraded.

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Is Mekong River Set To Become The New South China Sea For Regional Disputes?

Foreign ministers from the six countries through which the Mekong flows met in southwestern China last month to approve a draft of a five-year development plan for the river. But as state leaders prepare to finalise the proposal at a meeting in Cambodia later this month, environmental groups have expressed concern over what it could mean for Southeast Asia’s longest waterway.

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High-speed Rail Project Will Force Thousands of Lao Families to Relocate

More than 4,400 Lao families are being forced to relocate to make way for the U.S. $6 billion Lao-Chinese high-speed railway whose construction began nearly a year ago as part of a longer rail project that will link China to mainland Southeast Asia, a public works ministry official said.

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American Pacific Resources Partners with Lao Company to Develop a 67,000-acre Gold Mining Project

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.

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B Grimm Goes Big With Power Projects In Laos

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.

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The Lao-Singapore Tax Treaty/DTA is Now Effective

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.

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How Laos’ Black Market Undermines China’s Ivory Ban

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.

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Arbitration in Laos

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 ….

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Team BUG5 Becomes The First Laotian Team To Compete At Imagine Cup Regional

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.

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Laos Cuts Maximum Concession Period To 50 Years

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 …

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Govt Warned To Manage Growing Debt

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.

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Buying That Luang Condos Will Not Grant Lao Citizenship

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 ….

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China Top Foreign Investor In 2016

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 ….

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Laos-Cambodia Border Closed Over Tensions

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 ….

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Improved VAT Procedures To Enhance Laos’ Business Climate

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 ….

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More Than 36 Trillion Kip Invested in Vientiane Capital Last Year

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 ….

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Why It’s Time To Comply: Internal Regulations For Workplaces In Laos

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.

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Hilton Enters Laos

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 ….

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High-Speed Rail On Track To Connect Vientiane To The Region

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 ……

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Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Urges CLMVT Master Plan

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 …

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These Are The Fastest Growing Economies In East Asia In 2017

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 …

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Almost 9,000 Newly Registered Vehicles in Only Two Months

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 ….

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Lao Outbound Travellers Hit 3 Million For 2016

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 ….

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GDP Expected To Grow At 6.8 Percent: IMF

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 [1] with Laos recently, describing Laos’ challenges in dealing with the current account deficit, falling foreign currency reserves, and growing ….

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Govt Gives Green Light To Vientiane Expressway

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 ….

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PM Stresses Land As Focus For Transport Development

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 ….

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Property Investors To Draw Law On Foreign Acquisition

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 ….

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Laos Faces Economic Challenges In 2017: Business Leader

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 ….

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Lao Postal Service Issues New List Of Prohibited Items

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 ….

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First Pilots Graduate From Lao Civil Aviation Flight Training Centre

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 ….

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Lao Garment Industry Fails To Attract New Investors

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 ….

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Australian Woman Builds Citrus Industry In Laos From Scratch

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 …..

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Lao Leaders Return Their Luxury Cars

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 ….

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Minister Vows Stable Electricity Supply

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 ….

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Numerous Officials Cited For Corruption By Inspection Authority

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 …..

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Asia’s Smallest Economies Are Among Its Fastest Growing

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 …..

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China’s New Silk Road Is Getting Muddy

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 …..

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Debt To Be Reduced In Next Five Years, PM Says

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 ….

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Salary Delays Slow Government Work in Laos

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 ….

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Tight Grip & Diversification Needed for Laos Economy in Uncertain Times

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 …..

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Lao Politburo Forces Officials To Give Up Their Luxury Cars

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 …..

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Lao Prime Minister Moves To Stop Land-for-Capital Deals

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 ….

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Expats In Laos Limited To Two Entries Per Year Without Visa: Thailand

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 ….

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Trade Surplus Predicted For 2016

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 ….

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Workforce Fails To Meet Needs Of Job Market

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 ….

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Poverty Reduction Slows

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 …..

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Unlawful Financial Institutions Warned of Legal Action

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 …..

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Revised Govt Plan To See Bigger Budget Deficit

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 ….

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