Source: Vientiane Times
The private sector in Laos is optimistic that trade and investment will be made easier by the public sector following the application of international evaluation standards.
These standards will be applied in assessing the effectiveness of services provided by the public sector and reveal their weaknesses.
The business sector, which is led by the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), is hopeful that evaluation and assessment by the public sector with regard to trade and investment facilitation will benefit both parties.
Under the Provincial Facilitation for Investment and Trade (ProFIT) Index for Laos, which was launched last year, an exchange platform will be provided where the public and private sectors can openly discuss the barriers faced by the private sector.
LNCCI Vice President Ms Valy Vetsaphong told Vientiane Times yesterday the project aims to create a platform to reflect the voice of the private sector concerning the provision of services by the public sector.
“In practical terms, we will have foreign experts to go with us and meet one-on-one with the private sector to ask them what problems they actually face. This will be useful in helping the public sector to help us,” she said.
Ms Valy said officials in charge of the project were holding a meeting in Champassak province this week to publicise the results of evaluations conducted in the southern provinces.
“We are also providing legitimate comments for the public sector to help officials find appropriate ways to provide better services in the fields of trade and investment. This means that the public sector will understand the issues that are hampering progress in the private sector,” she added.
Evaluations for assessment by the public sector will continue twice a year until 2020.
The project was launched in 2018 with technical assistance from the Mekong Business Initiative, which is financed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and implemented by the Asian Development Bank.
ProFIT is a valuable addition to the set of tools that the LNCCI uses to promote private sector development through informed dialogue with the Lao government.
The ProFIT Index measures how good provincial governments, including the Vientiane administration, are in supporting private sector development, notably through measures of economic governance that are under the direct control of those governments.