Laos Clarifies Business Requirements for Vehicle Industry

Reclaimed luxury state vehicles go to auction
Reclaimed luxury state vehicles go to auction.

Laos has promulgated a new prime ministerial decree clarifying the import and export of vehicles, dealerships, and assembly plants as different types of business.

According to the new decree, a company that wants to operate all three types of business must obtain three separate operating licences from the commerce ministry. In the past, some companies used a single business licence to enjoy other businesses, Vientiane Times reported.

The new decree, which details information on business areas and requirements for the country’s vehicle industry, can be viewed at:

The Lao government’s move is designed to help state agencies to agencies to effectively administer vehicle businesses, which have been growing rapidly in recent years.

It is also aimed at limiting the number of operations that sell low-quality vehicles, which are harmful to the environment, while encouraging the sale of vehicles that are environmentally friendly, such as electric vehicles.

The government wants to encourage Lao companies to operate vehicle assembly plants through tax incentives.


  1. Vehicle assembly plants in Laos? Come on, the market is too small and there is a skills and labor shortage. With the establishment of the Asean economic community or AEC in 2015, it’s become redundant for countries like Laos to start an automotive industry. Just import tax free from Thailand, the Detroit of Asia. Niche models can be imported from the USA, since Laos is a LHD market. Laos should focus on it’s competitive advantages: mining, agriculture, tourism. Manufacturing is not appropriate for a small and poor landlocked country with a tiny population and labor shortage like Laos.