Laos’ minister of commerce Soulivong Daravong was recently in Washington to participate in a conference on “U.S.-Lao PDR Relations: The Road Ahead,” organized by Johns Hopkins University. In this part 2 of an exclusive interview with VOA, the minister discussed the benefits of NTR for Laos.
He thanked the US government and Congress for according Laos normal trade relation status or NTR. He told the conference that NTR means a lot to Laos. At least it brings Laos to the same level as many countries, especially Laos' neighbors. But although Laos will enjoy the same low tariff as its neighbors, it faces the challenges of being a land-locked country which makes transportation cost high for Laos exports.
The Lao minister also said NTR benefits cannot be immediately reaped. Addressing a group of Lao-Americans attending a reception in his honor at the Lao PDR embassy in Washington, he called on them to help in the implementation of NTR and BTA.
Listen to Part two of our interview with Mr. Soulivong for details.