Laos could face a trade loss of $102 million under the special tariff scheme if the country graduates from the UN’s Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2024, a recent study found.
The Lao government has approved more than 6,000 investment projects with combined funding of nearly $37 billion since the introduction of the market-oriented economy in the 1980s.
The Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s Department of Enterprise Registration and Management has eased the registration process for foreign investors, local entrepreneurs and those who want to start a new business in Laos.
A new set of challenges is likely to affect Laos’ economy this year, mainly the long dry season, the coronavirus outbreak and the Sino-US trade war.
Laos recorded a trade deficit of $137 million last year even though the value of exports exceeded the yearly plan, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Twelve special economic zones (SEZs) established across Laos have attracted investment of almost $5.7 billion and created thousands of jobs for local people, a report this week showed.
Vientiane authorities have devised a six-point work plan to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access finance, and aim to increase the number of SMEs by 10 per cent this year.
Vietnam earned a H1 trade surplus of 175.24 million in confectionery and grain products, up 2.94 percent over the same period last year.