Click here for Lao version/ຄລິກບ່ອນນີ້ເພື່ອອ່ານພາສາລາວ
of the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce are developing a strategic plan on
export promotions, aimed at mitigating the impacts of implementing the ASEAN
Free Trade Agreement or AFTA. Officials
say the plan will be completed and submitted to their government for approval
in the near future.
strategic plan is seen as crucial to Laos’ export sector for it to be
competitive in the world market, especially when ASEAN starts implementing its
free trade agreement which requires Laos to abolish all tariffs by
2015. Meeting this requirement
will inevitably have an impact on Laos’ manufacturing sector if its products cannot
compete, both in price and quality, with goods imported from abroad .
to a high ranking official at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the new
strategy will give priority to sectors such as mining, garment, wood
processing, energy, agricultural products processing, handicrafts, tourism,
banking, intellectual property and skills development.Government supports will include providing low-interest,
long-term loans to those sectors, as well as business tax exemption to both domestic
businesses and foreign investors.
Lao officials acknowledge it will be very difficult for them to develop their
manufacturing sector to the level that it can compete with big international
businesses, as 99% of the estimated 130,000 production units across the country are
of small or medium scales. The only large scale industrial production units are
state-owned enterprises, and these face problems stemming from both funding
shortages and ineffecient management. Therefore,
Lao authorities stress that their new strategy will focus on supporting the
development of small and medium scale manufacturing units, while promoting
joint-venture with international business in the development of the larger scale
industrial units, especially in the hydro-electric power sector to reach Laos’
goal of becoming the battery of Southeast Asia in the future.
to Songrit’s report for more details in Lao.