ECCIL EuroCham, the EU, and Advantage Austria hosted a Laos-Europe Business networking event to welcome an Austrian Business delegation to Laos.
On Wednesday, 29 March 2023, the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Laos (ECCIL EuroCham) organized its annual General Assembly at the Settha Palace in Vientiane, and topped the event with a Laos-Europe Business Networking, co-organized with the European Union delegation in Laos and Advantage Austria, the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy in Thailand.
During the ECCIL Annual Meeting (or General Assembly), the activities and financial reports of 2022 as well as the plans for 2023 were presented to the Members. The new executive committee for the term of 2023-2025 was also elected.
“The year 2022 was quite challenging. On our journey to become a financially self-sustainable ECCIL went through several important changes, most of them to reduce operating expenses, but we succeeded in significantly improving the Chamber’s performance, improving revenues above expectations, and raising results by more than 30% compared to the previous year,” said Thiane Khamvongsa, Executive Director of EuroCham.
She further added, “The challenges and issues of 2022 aren’t going away in 2023 but as optimism returns, the Chamber has great plans for 2023, namely re-invigorating sectorial advocacy group in order to be pro-active while representing our Member’s interest vis-a-vis the Lao government, extending activities with a regional group in Luang Prabang, implementing several exciting programs such as the Responsible Business Awards, the Energy Efficiency Competition, a career fair, a Top Executive Meeting or a Mentoring program for young women entrepreneurs with the EU in Laos.
“We are also very excited to welcome the Austrian business delegation tonight, which is already the second of the year 2023 after the Hungarian business delegation in February, which is a clear sign of the renewal of foreign investors’ interest for Laos.”
The General Assembly was followed by a Laos-Europe Business Networking to celebrate the ties between the Lao and European Business communities and was opened by the EU Ambassador to Laos Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė.
The event also welcomed a business delegation from Austria, organized by Advantage Austria, the commercial section of the Embassy of Austria in Thailand. The delegation was accompanied by the Austrian Ambassador Mr. Wilhelm Maximilian Donko and consisted of businesses covering a wide range of activity sectors ranging from hydropower, education, agriculture, consulting, railways, digitalization, and defense. During the trade mission, the delegation met with several ministries and officials from the Government of Laos, the EU delegation in Laos, and Lao companies, seeking future opportunities and further possible trade relations between the two countries.
“In our first Trade Mission to Laos for four years we rediscovered that Laos is a hidden gem in Southeast Asia. We had a great interest from our visiting companies in various sectors, especially in hydropower development. Austria has by its own nature and history great expertise in this field and our companies are looking to increase their presence in Laos to further develop the battery of Southeast Asia,” said Dr. Georg Weingartner, The Austrian Commercial Counsellor.