Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad has urged the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to document all problems and difficulties experienced by the business sector for presentation to the government.
Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad ( centre ) speaks at the forum.
The business sector put forward various issues at the 7th Lao Business Forum held yesterday in Vientiane.
“All the issues must be clearly detailed and the ministries they relate to be specified. The issues must be put to me directly,” Mr Somsavat said at the forum.
“Then I will arrange a time for discussion meetings between the related state and private sectors to find solutions to each issue.”
Planning and Investment Minister Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune said the issues include business entity establishment, labour law, the prime minister's decree amendment on Leasing Law, court verdicts and appellate process implementation, and improvement of processes in disputes and litigation arising from motor accidents.
Other issues are agro-processing products movement policy and facilitation, tourist transportation management and development, resuming minerals concession timeframe, Minerals Law regulations, definition of investment promotion zones, exploration and mining promotion, and mining sector promotion policy.
“The issues must be compiled and sent to me within one week or not later than January 25. The discussion meetings may be started by early next month,” Mr Somsavat said.
The forum was held to provide an opportunity for a structured dialogue between the government, local and foreign businesses and the donor community with the aim of improving the business environment in Laos.
World Bank Country Manager Ms Keiko Miwa said the government's proactive steps to improve the business environment and encourage investment has sent clear signals to investors of its strong commitment to build a better business environment.
International Finance Corporation Regional Manager Mr Simon Andrews said since the 6th forum last year Laos has shown strong economic growth and has emerged successfully from the global economic crisis.
“Since the last forum, we have seen an increasing private sector involvement in the forum, and in the number of working groups, including a sub-group for agro-processing, and combined insurance and banking,” Mr Andrews said.
Mr Somsavat said following the 6th forum, the public and private sectors had carried out close coordination and consultation to find solutions to various problems, including intellectual property rights violation or illicit trade. The Lao tourism market and promotion board establishment raised by LNCCI representatives and foreign business associations to Laos had also received due consideration from the government.
The head office of the Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with the LNCCI supported by the International Finance Corporation organised the 7th forum.