Laos Improves Trade Regulations for Foreign Companies

Laos updates trade regulations

Foreign companies that export products to Laos will no longer require a domestic business license under new trade regulations issued by the Ministry of Commerce.

Mrs Khemmani Pholsena, Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce, issued a ministerial decision on June 6 ending the requirement for a domestic business license by foreign firms exporting products to Laos.

Under the new regulations, international companies wishing to export goods to Laos may simply submit a request for trading rights directly from the Import and Export Department.

To be granted trading rights, foreign firms will need to submit a request for certification at the Import and Export Department, Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  Eligibility will require foreign companies to be registered in countries that are members of the World Trade Organization, and provide evidence that they operate their businesses legally, and without having been investigated for financial crimes.

Certain documents will be required and will need to be verified by the Lao embassy in the countries where companies are registered, or by authorized representatives.

According to the ministry, the new Decision is part of a move to improve the business environment in Laos, and to assist Laos in moving up the ranks in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, where the country is currently ranked 154.