A new website outlining the steps required to register a business in Laos was launched on Wednesday, expected to assist investors by simplifying the process.
With onerous bureaucracy long considered the biggest obstacle to investment in the country, the Inventory Business Licenses Website allows users to search various industries and find out how to begin the registration process.
While the investment process has not yet been streamlined, the new website is seen as a step forward, reducing the need for investors to conduct their own research into how to begin the business registration process.
The website (http://www.bned.moic.gov.la/en), available in both English and Lao, is supported by the Lao PDR Competitiveness and Trade Project (LCTP), and implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, with technical and financial support from the World Bank and additional financial contributions from Australia, Ireland, and the United States.
A launch ceremony held at Lao Plaza Hotel on Wednesday was chaired by Mrs. Chanhsouk Sengphachanh, Deputy-Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Xaybandith Ladsaphon, Vice Chairman of Lao National Chamber of Commerce, and Industry and Mrs. Melise Jaud, a representative from World Bank.
“Streamlining and simplifying the licensing system in Laos is an important reform to help the business community to grow and thrive. The website will also help the government to foster ease of doing business in the country,” said Melise Jaud, representative from World Bank.
Stakeholders say the IBL Website will also have long-lasting effects, providing an opportunity to improve the business climate and the relationship between the citizen and the Government, generating greater trust and a better perception of the State’s services.
The government of Laos has routinely suggested it would make efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country with little progress made.
Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone expressed his dissatisfaction to the National Assembly in 2020 that Laos had been unable to streamline its investment process. He noted that in other countries one-stop investment services are able to issue an investment license directly from a single office.