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Govt Places Focus On Tackling Business Constraints

Source: Vientiane Times

Improving the investment climate, and building a state governed by the rule of law will be the main focus of government activities in the first month of 2019.

These issues were agreed on by the government at its monthly meeting on December 24-25, presided over by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

The government stressed the need for authorities in charge to coordinate with related sectors to study these problems, draw up action plans, and report the results of their work to the government.

The government advised the Ministry of Planning and Investment to coordinate with other ministries to address difficulties in investment promotion, paying special attention to the 10 indicators related to business constraints and improvingthe situation by 2020.

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Building public trust in the justice system will be another important item on the government’s agenda next month. This will emphasise the improvement of coordination mechanisms between the Ministry of Justice, people’s courts, people’s prosecutor offices, and the Ministry of Public Security.

With regard to labour and social welfare, the government reiterated the need for an improvement in job skills, while preventing the illegal hiring of foreign workers. The government will encourage the creation of businesses and services that engage in production, in order to create jobs and reduce the illegal migration of Lao workers to other countries.

Implementation of the Prime Minister’s Order on the Strengthening of the Strictness of the Management and Inspection of Timber Exploitation, Timber Movement, and Timber Business was also discussed at the meeting. The government concluded that the order had resulted in a decrease in illegal logging and timber movement, while public trust in the government’s management of the matter had been restored. Some business owners had improved their factories and the skills of their workers and were producing finished goods that had additional market value.

The order also produced a clear idea of the number of logs that had been stockpiled, were being traded, and those that had yet to be sold.

Post-disaster relief has been a topic at every government meeting since the devastating flood caused by the collapse of an auxiliary dam at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant in July. This month’s meeting touched on the acceleration of arrangements for temporary accommodation for flood-affected people in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province, and the urgent design of permanent houses and provision of farmland.

The government has appointed the Ministry of National Defence to coordinate with other sectors to prepare events for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Lao People’s Army on January 20, stressing that ceremonies be organised at a reasonable cost.

The government also called attention to the ban on asking for donations from civil servants, soldiers, police officers, and the general public to finance the celebrations.

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Starting from next year, the government will prohibit all government bodies, organisations and local authorities from asking for public donations to fund Party and government activities, and various festivities.

“Any violation of this guideline will be considered to be a breach of the rule,” it was stated in a report on the government meeting.