Laos Making Efforts to Improve Ease of Doing Business

ease of doing business in Laos
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The government of Laos is making efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country by streamlining the process for business registrations.

According to the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking system, Laos took 141st place in 2017, dropping steadily from 134th place in 2014, and 139th in 2016.

Comparatively, Thailand boasts a ranking of 26, while Vietnam ranks 68, and Cambodia at 135.  Myanmar ranked lower than Laos, at 171.

In order to improve the ease of doing business in Laos, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith issued Executive Order no. 2 in February this year, ordering ministries and other bodies to improve procedures and remove obstacles causing difficulties to investors.

Now, authorities are required to issue enterprise registration certificates for new businesses within 10 working days after an application is submitted, according to Article 17 of the Amended Law on Enterprise.

Following the issuance of the certificate, the investor must then submit an investment or business operation application to the relevant sector of the government within 90 days.

These clearer and simpler steps should expedite the registration of a business for investors.

The government has also set up a central-level Investment Promotion and Management Committee, to help accelerate consideration and approval of investment applications.

Although the procedures have been simplified and ministries ordered to comply, some investors still complain that there are too many steps involved. Many have suggested that a “single window” unit to which all documents could be submitted would significantly improve the experience for business registration, rather than having investors submit applications to various ministries in relation to their field of investment.

Source: Vientiane Times

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