Korean Companies Eye Trade Expansion in Laos
One-on-one business consultations were held between company representatives from the Republic of Korea and Lao buyers in Vientiane yesterday as part of efforts to boost international business cooperation.
The consultation meeting was a part of the Chungnam Trade Mission 2016 which was organised by the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the commercial section of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Laos.
The trade mission is an event where representatives of selected Korean SMEs visit Laos to meet and consult with Lao importers. During this event, both Korean and Lao companies carefully consider whether they could become business partners and successfully introduce new products to the Lao market.
During the Chungnam Trade Mission 2016, delegates of six Korean companies from Chungnam province and about 20 Lao buyers were present.
Various products were introduced at the venue, such as PIR panels, PUR panels, sanitary napkins, diapers, seasoned lavers, cosmetics, onion/garlic salt, aronia granules, and red ginseng extract.
While missions are held about four to six times a year, the Chungnam Trade Mission 2016 will be the last trade mission this year.
According to an official from KOTRA, trade missions this year have created various opportunities that have assisted the formation of business partnerships between Korean and Lao companies.
KOTRA will continue hosting trade missions in the following years as well as other such events, aiming to effectively promote bilateral trade and cooperation between the two countries.
Around 100 Korean businesses are already in operation in Laos, and Korea has become the fifth largest foreign investor in the country.
However, taking into account the rate of economic growth in Laos, averaging over 7 percent per year, and the two countries’ complementary economic structures, the Korean side believes that Laos still has much room for the further expansion of investment cooperation in the years ahead.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1995, the two countries have witnessed a 24-fold increase in bilateral trade and investment; Korea’s total investments in Laos amounted to US$1.03 billion as of last year.
The number of Korean people travelling to Laos has also increased year by year and reached about 165,000 last year.
Source: Vientiane Times