Vientiane, 5th April 2018 - The Lao Business Forum (LBF) Secretariat held a Steering Committee Meeting at Donchan Palace Hotel to review implementation progress of the public-private dialogue process under the Lao Business Forum structure as well as its readiness for organizing the LBF 11 tentatively scheduled for mid-May 2018.

The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mrs. Khemmani Pholsena, Minister of Industry and Commerce (MoIC), and co-chaired by Mr. Oudeth Souvannavong, President of Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI). Over 100 representatives from line ministries and private sector, both local and foreign companies, attended the meeting.  The main purpose of the meeting was to update on resolution of private sector’s issues over the past one year following the 10th LBF held in March 2017. Also, a tentative agenda for LBF 11 was also discussed and proposed for approval.

Good progress has been made on resolving private sector’s issues raised at the 10th LBF including export of planted wood products and wood product export procedures; access to import-export data; business registration and licensing; access to finance for SMEs; and Access to information on public procurement. A number of issues expected to be resolved before 11th LBF including Value added tax on commercial bank services; Value added tax on transit transport; classification of printing business; and registration fee on loan collateral backed by land title.

Following a very constructive Q&A session, the meeting finally reached consensus on proposed selected high priority issues to be raised at the 11th Lao Business Forum. The endorsed tentative Agenda proposed for the LBF 11 includes issues related to VAT refund and exercise tax for internet; cross border trading issues; and barriers to tourism development.

Lao Business Forum (LBF) receives the financial support by the Second Trade Facilitation (TDF-II) through Ministry of Industry and Commerce. TDF-II is a multi-donor trust fund, which co-financed by Australia, the European Union, Germany, Ireland, the United States and the World Bank.

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