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Remove Unnecessary Barriers To Improve Business Climate

Source: Vientiane Times

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone has urged the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to accelerate improvement of the business climate by cutting the number of days it takes to register a business.

This is one of the measures that would improve ease-of-doing-business in Laos and create a more favourable investment climate, he told ministry officials on Friday.

As part of the government’s efforts to bolster business integration with regional and international communities, the Deputy Prime Minister called for senior officials in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to continue to address unresolved issues by enhancing their collaboration with related ministries and other bodies.

“More foreign companies are interested in investing in various projects in Laos but the legal and regulatory process remains slow. The present system requires the processing of many documents which wastes a lot of time and money,” Dr Sonexay said, adding that this could discourage potential investors.

Dr Sonexay said the government had a tough job in attempting to raise Laos’ global ease-of-doing-business listing so that the country fell into the two-digit bracket, meaning it would be ranked at 99 or less.

The latest annual ratings published by the World Bank place Laos at 141 among 190 economies in terms of ease of doing business.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone

This meant that Laos dropped two places in the table after being ranked at 139 in 2016.
Laos averaged 153.70 from 2008 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 167 in 2009 and a record low of 136 in 2015.

With regard to regulating product prices, Dr Sonexay asked the ministry to continue to inspect the quality and quantity of imported goods, especially fuel, to ensure the price was close to that of the world market.

The Deputy Prime Minister also asked ministry officials to make sure the export of rice to China was complying with bilateral agreements.

“Officials should closely work with local authorities to ensure the amount of rice harvested is sufficient for export, as the government signed an agreement with a Chinese importer to supply 20,000 tonnes of rice a year,” he said.

Before giving the advice, Dr Sonexay presented Class I, II and III labour medals and certificates of congratulations issued by the government and the Prime Minister to the Minister and Deputy Ministers of Industry and Commerce.

At the same time, other senior ministry officials from various departments were also awarded medals and congratulatory certificates for their outstanding performance and contributions to the implementation of the socio-economic development plan.


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