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Cabinet Orders Urgent Action To Improve Investment Climate

Source: Vientiane Times

The government cabinet has ordered authorities in charge to speed up streamlining procedures to ease business operations and improve the investment climate.

The cabinet issued the instruction at its two-day monthly meeting for November that ended yesterday in Vientiane.

Chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the cabinet meeting told the authorities to accelerate revising a drafted Prime Ministerial Order on Improvements to Procedures for Business Operation in line with recommendations made by the cabinet members.

In addition, the authorities were also told to urgently improve the drafted Prime Ministerial Decree on the organisation and mandates of the central and provincial Investment Management Committees.

The government recently established the central and provincial Investment Management Committees in an attempt to accelerate the consideration and approval process for investment proposals.

Once the two drafts were revised in line with recommendations by cabinet members, the two regulations would be promulgated to better ease business operation.

The meeting adopted work plans to enhance Laos-China cooperation including plans to realise successful outcomes of the state visit to Laos by Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 13-14, which resulted in the signing of 17 cooperation documents.

In this regard, the cabinet told the relevant sectors to translate cooperation agreements reached by the governments of Laos and China into detailed plans and projects of their organisations to realise.

The meeting discussed ways for effective use of grants amounting to 4 billion yuan (5,011 billion kip), which China agreed to provide to Laos over the next three years.

The meeting reviewed the implementation of cooperation projects financed by Chinese official development assistance (ODA) as well as reviewing Chinese investment in Laos.

It was reported that China was the largest source of foreign investment in Laos with 765 projects worth about US$7 billion across 14 main sectors including mines, hydropower, agriculture and services.

The meeting heard a report on Laos-Vietnam cooperation projects for 2017-2018. In this regard, the cabinet entrusted the relevant authorities to properly prepare for the upcoming meeting between the politburos of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the Communist Party of Vietnam, and the meeting between the Laos-Vietnam, Vietnam-Laos cooperation committees.

The cabinet directed authorities in charge to speed up revising the drafted governmental decree on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan, budget plan and current plan for 2018 in accordance with recommendations made by the meeting so the decree could be approved and promulgated.

The cabinet called for the relevant sectors to draw up a yearly plan and projects on food security and future commercial projects along with identifying timeframes for their implementation.

The sectors were told to review incentives previously offered to food security and commercial projects including tax-tariffs, access to finance and land concession incentives in an attempt to introduce appropriate promotional incentives to boost greater production.

The relevant authorities were told to facilitate all aspects for farmers including providing seeds, young livestock, technical knowhow and help in seeking markets.