LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

NATIONAL ROUND TABLE PROCESS

Pre-consultation for the Round Table Implementation Meeting 2017 realized quality private investment is essential for the development

On Friday morning, 27th October 2017: The Ministry of Planning and Investment held a pre-consultation for the upcoming Round Table Implementation Meeting on 22nd and 23rd November 2017 in Pakse, Champasak on quality private sector investment for development. This meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Khamlien Pholsena, Vice-Minister of Planning and Investment; and co-chaired by Ambassador H.E. Mr Léon Paul Faber, Head of EU Delegation to Lao PDR. The meeting was attended by more than 70 participants from concerned line ministries and concerned development partners including representatives from concerned embassies, head of international agencies, and representatives from private sector.

H.E Dr. Khamlien Pholsena, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment stated in his opening remark that “the main objective of today’s meeting is to bring together the public sector and development partners as well as private sector to discuss on the quality private investment including the matters on improving the administrative procedures to be more simple, fast and transparent. In addition, monitoring on the investment is also essential to be strengthened to ensure the quality.” He also added that the government has a role to facilitate and solve any problems faced by both domestic and foreign private investments. This is to create enabling environment for the investment and elevate the rank of the Lao PDR in the Ease of Doing Business from 139 to less than 100 among all 190 countries. However, to achieve this objective, we have to encounter several challenges and require a strong coordination between and significant improvement on the management of all stakeholders…”

In the meeting, the participants also hear two interesting presentations including the update of endorsed Revised Investment Promotion Law and draft National Investment Strategy (by Investment Promotion Department, MPI); and the update on progress on capitalizing the 10th Lao Business Forum discussions and the private sector’s contribution in the national development and commitment on quality private investment (by LNCCI).

He also revealed that the Government of Lao PDR on the recent endorsement of the amended Law on Investment Promotion No. 14/NA dated 17 November 2016, and established an Investment Management Committee chairing by the Deputy Prime Minister including creation of a One-Stop-Service Office under the Investment Promotion Department of MPI. We are also working on investment promotion strategy covering various aspects for enabling private sector development and investment for development. Progress has also been made in various areas as discussed during the 10th Lao Business Forum such as Legal environment (revision of public private partnership law for instance); Taxation (for instance, tax administration reform), Transportation and import/export procedures; Business registration/licencing; access to finance (micro finance); and Labour market development.

The meeting also realized an importance of knowledge development for further realising quality private sector investment for development. The Government recently launched the Human Development Strategy and has increased support to education and encourage partnerships from all stakeholders especially the private sector. “We are also keen on supporting partnerships between private companies and local private sector, as well as increased cooperation between research and innovation institutions” said Dr. Khamlien Pholsena.

In addition, H.E. Mr Léon Paul Faber, Head of EU Delegation to Lao PDR, the co-chaired of the meeting, expressed his concerns on simplifying the rules with some of the basic conditions to start a business as well as building the trust in the regulatory environment and a clear understanding of the system amongst businesses to create legal safety and attract investments. “We commend the Government’s efforts on improving legal environment which is an excellent first step but it should then be matched by enforcement. The enforcement of legislation will require the strengthening of Government capacities, including the capacity to engage in outreach and communication with the private sector operating in Laos, and their Tax Advisors” said H.E. Mr Léon Paul Faber, Head of EU Delegation to Lao PDR. Besides, he also emphasized that minimum standards agreed within ASEAN is important and helpful to create a level playing field.

The meeting was carried out very successfully in a productive environment with constructive comments and discussion, and was closed at noon of the same day.

Read this press release in Lao language: ບົດອອກຂ່າວ – ກອງປະຊຸມປຶກສາຫາລືກ່ຽວກັບ ການລົງທຶນຂອງເອກະຊົນທີ່ມີຄຸນນະພາບເພື່ອການພັດທະນາ

Contact:

Mr. Bounthanorm Mekdala
EU-America Division,
DIC/MPI
Tel: 020 2244 8892

Ms. Vena Ngonvorarath
Senior Communication Officer and Technical Support to the 8th NSEDP Implementation
PSU, DIC/MPI
Tel: 020 7786 3939, Email: venang@gmail.com