The Ministry of Industry and Commerce on Jun 28 held the 11th Trade and Private Sector Working Group meeting in Vientiane to discuss priority working plans for trade and private sector development in Laos.
The semi-annual policy dialogue platform between the government and development partners was chaired by Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmani Pholsena and co-chaired by European Union’s Ambassador Leo Faber and German Ambassador to Laos Michael Grau.
Attended by more than 100 participants from line ministries, development partners and the private sector, the meeting discussed medium term priorities for trade and private sector development in Laos and planned to support implementation of the country’s sector development priorities.
It also covered a wide range of specific issues affecting competitiveness of private sector and how to maximise opportunities emerging from increasing integration with regional economy by presenting findings of two research projects including 1) Cross-Border Impacts of Thailand’s SEZs on Laos’ SEZs and Collaboration in the Midst of Regional Integration, carried out by a national research team from the Economic Research Institute for Industry and Trade, and 2) firm productivity and perception on investment climate constraints based on results of the latest Enterprise Survey conducted by the World Bank.
Our country’s 8th National Social Economic Development Plan, National Development Strategy 2025, and Vision 2030 recognise the important role played by trade and the private sector in creating jobs and reducing poverty. Our development strategy also identified private sector development, including the promotion of micro-small and medium sized enterprises as an engine for sustainable and inclusive growth, Khemmani Pholsena stated.
one of the key lessons we learned over the past few years of developing market foundations in our country is that all successful businesses are set up and run by entrepreneurs, and a key government responsibility is to create an environment that facilitates the establishment and operation of businesses. Therefore, with strong support from development partners, we have put a lot of effort into developing policy and institutional framework to assist us in better understanding the obstacles constraining business operations and the factors affecting their competiveness added Mrs Khemmani.
In his remarks, Leo Faber emphasised that this working group is one of the best Policy Dialogue Frameworks that aims to strengthen the private sector’s capacity and productivity, which is a significant tool for the promotion of sustainable economic development because businesses play a crucial role in job creation, innovation, and entrepreneurship as well as mitigating economic risks. We recognize that since the last working group meeting, several measures have been put in place to increase transparency, improve the business environment and facilitate trade. NTM issues in particular have been addressed, so I think we should continue to keep this momentum added Mr Faber.
In addition, Mrs Pholsena expressed her gratitude to all development partners for their support of the trade and private sector development agenda in Laos and called all relevant agencies to take concrete actions to enhance the competitiveness of Lao enterprises through reducing trading costs, policy uncertainties, and regulatory compliance costs for businesses.
Source: Lao News Agency