March 28, 2012
Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad has urged all business sectors involved in production and service provision to participate in rural area development and poverty eradication.
Speaking at the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI)’s annual meeting for 2011 held last week in Vientiane, Mr Somsavat said the advice is based on the government’s future direction and targets which have been set for dealing with these issues.
“Businesses should not base themselves solely in the main cities,” Mr Somsavat said and added that the business sector should consider what they can do to meet the government’s targets for poverty eradication.
Remote areas targeted for development include the provinces of Phongsaly, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Xekong and Attapeu.
“The Chamber should consider the issues and discuss with businesses the formulation of plans detailing their proposals. The proposal may ask for special or extra policies from the government to assist and facilitate businesses that want to expand their operations in remote and poverty-stricken areas of Laos,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance is currently studying regulations relating to taxes and duty in these areas. Other ministries are also doing so to facilitate business in rural areas.
“The LNCCI, business groups and associations should do the same as the ministries are doing in order to find out what problems or issues should be resolved or improved so as to facilitate business operation in these areas,” Mr Somsavat said.
“The Chamber must do the same as the ministries because the business sector knows well what problems they are facing and in what way their operations are being affected.”
The issue is important and the LNCCI must pay attention to development to speed up poverty eradication, he said.
The LNCCI is an independent body which represents the business community in Laos. It is the link between state and private enterprise and represents employers, groups and joint ventures across all agencies that have been established under the laws of Laos.
It currently has about 3,000 members since its establishment in 1989. However, this figure includes less than 10 percent of all companies in Laos.
The LNCCI is now preparing to open a Vientiane office as well as offices in the provinces of Phongsaly, Xekong and Attapeu. The Chamber presently has offices in 13 provinces.