Mon, 23 May 2022

Lao gov't vows to improve investment climate

24 Jan 2022, 14:30 GMT+10

VIENTIANE, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government has pledged to remove barriers that hinder business operations and improve the investment climate in the country.

The strengthened focus on business is part of the government's policy to tackle the country's economic and financial difficulties and support economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reducing red tape and improving the investment climate were among the five topics discussed at the cabinet's monthly meeting held on Jan. 20-21, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.

The two-day meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and attended by other cabinet members.

"The meeting instructed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to work with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and other sectors to review policies and legislation and revise them," the government spokesperson, Thipphakone Chanthavongsa, told a press conference on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry was advised to strengthen its role, especially in setting up production groups and associations to boost their bargaining power.

Business leaders were told to improve their operating methods, enhance their competitiveness, and modernize their operations to benefit from regional economic integration.

In addition, cabinet members agreed to try to increase the amount of revenue earned from the mining and trade in digital currencies, as well as from taxes and fees levied at border crossings.

"We will also place more emphasis on increased productivity, the processing industry, services and tourism, in association with the Laos-China Railway," Thipphakone said.

It is also viewed as critical to improve railway services and facilitate large-scale freight transport and cross-border logistics to further boost economic growth.

The meeting also instructed the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to closely monitor the situation surrounding the virus outbreak and to ensure a balance between infection control measures and economic recovery efforts.

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