Tag Archives: business

Wildlife In Sights: Pressures On Iconic Tiger, Elephant Draws Media Attention To Challenges Facing Laos

Tiger & Elephant Populations Under Local, Regional, Global Pressure: Laos biodiversity in the international media spotlight.

With the release of a major UN report on biodiversity loss, the state of and threats to wildlife worldwide and in hotspots like Laos including iconic species like the tiger and elephant draw more international media attention, The Laotian Times reports.

The most comprehensive ever completed, the UN Report IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’ 

The efforts of one award-winning wildlife defender to shed light on the plight of animals kept at illegal tiger farms posing as zoos in Laos was covered by the Washington Post.

Emaciated Tiger (Washington Post)

Emaciated Tiger (Washington Post)

“They all want hope and happy endings,” The Washington Post quotes Swiss conservationist Ammann as saying of many well-meaning yet naive folk at home and around the world.

“And I don’t see any happy endings. I can’t create fiction from what I see as fact,” 

Alleged Tiger Trader Nikhom Keovised (Washington Post)

Alleged Tiger Trader Nikhom Keovised (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, pachyderms were the focus of coverage by US-based National Public Radio (NPR) ‘A Million Elephants’ No More: Conservationists In Laos Rush To Save An Icon.

“The national government also has a reputation of being supportive of elephant conservation efforts across Laos. Within the last 30 years, catching wild elephants and trading wildlife have been banned. Laws severely restrict the logging industry in its use of elephants. Yet, despite these efforts, “if current trajectories continue there will be no elephants left in Laos by the year 2030,” NPR quoted an article co-written by Chrisantha Pinto, an American biologist at the center, as saying.

Challenges Facing Laos' Wildlife including Iconic Tigers and Elephants (NPR)

Challenges Facing Lao’ Wildlife including Iconic Tigers and Elephants (NPR)

The challenges facing the planet, its plants and animals are real.

What Would Buddha Do?

With a biodiversity hotspot like Laos under pressure from regional and global pressures brought by unsustainable human activity and law-breaking, it’s time to get serious about enforcing the rule of law to protect what natural beauty the country has left for the next generations of our and all species.

Future Electric: EV Destiny Driving Rapidly Towards Laos

Electric Vehicles (EV) closer in Laos with Agreement Between EDl & EVLao

Promising prospects for electric vehicles (EV) in Laos as an agreement signed between power producer ລັດວິສາຫະກິດໄຟຟ້າລາວ EDL and electric-powered vehicle proponents EVLao, The Laotian Times reports.

Looking to industry leaders at manufacturing hotpots like Japan, Germany & China, it would appear the early arrival of the electric age when it comes to motor vehicle transport is already well and truly upon us.

In Laos, a milestone was marked with the holding of the nation’s first electric vehicle summit and MoU signing last week in the capital Vientiane at the very first Lao National Electric Vehicle Summit.

. The agreement will see the trial of vehicle charging stations and technology to push progress towards a future where electric vehicles are more free to traverse the highways and byways of Laos and beyond.

ພາບບັນຍາກາດງານ LAO National Electric Vehicle Summit 2019

Posted by EVLao on ວັນພະຫັດ ທີ 4 ເມສາ 2019

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

At a time when technology is progressing faster than ever, these words attributed to futurist and science-fiction writer William Gibson are revealing.

It doesn’t take a genius to guess that in the future, roads in Laos are expected to see many more electric cars than we can see today.

A net electricity exporter and fuel oil importer, one can see the attraction of electric vehicles even before the other benefits are taken into account.

Yet with a transformation this big, there is plenty to consider.

Preparing the socio-economy for the changing needs of the modern era as they quickly transforming with the availability of cleaner energy technologies involves resolutions to complicated challenges.

Given that successful deployment of electric vehicles in Laos requires public and private partnerships, It is important to look at technical mechanisms for using electric vehicles in Laos as well as tax policies and the expected infrastructure investment profiles.

Posted by EVLao on ວັນອາທິດ ທີ 31 ມີນາ 2019

EV Lao and EDL agree to trial electric vehicles

An aim is to study the feasibility of using the electricity system to provide energy-powered vehicles in the Lao PDR.

On the morning of April 2, 2019, at Landmark Hotel in Vientiane, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was held jointly with EV Lao Co., Ltd. between the Lao Electric Power Enterprise EDL and EV Lao Company Limited.

How long until the entire world (& Laos!) has electric cars?

It’s a billion dollar question.

What we do know is that the vehicle fleet in Laos, as in other countries, must become less carbon intensive if we are to avoid the worst effects of catastrophic climate change.

While not exactly at the leading edge of uptake, prospects for electric vehicles in Laos are positive from the current low base.

The movements in the global environment and technical landscape are favoring the development of low carbon transportation in ways never seen before.

Laos will be affected by developments worldwide and in major manufacturing hubs.

The nation’s capacity to benefit will depend on both regulators, public and private sectors to grab a hold of the wheel and steer Laos to a cleaner motoring future.


Electric Vehicles (EV) closer in Laos with Agreement Between EDl & EVLao

Electric Vehicles (EV) closer in Laos with Agreement Between EDl & EVLao

Starting A New Business In Laos? Regulated Sector List Worth Perusing

List of controlled sectors in Laos improves business and investment climate.

Engaging on a new business venture is serious and potentially stressful business at the best of times, but a new list with information on regulated sectors is set to ease the minds of more investors considering the big dive in Laos.

Seeking to facilitate more entrepreneurial activity and investment from domestic and international sources, Lao policymakers including the nation’s top leaders have been making moves to release a list of controlled sectors for investment (Lao language).

The new list makes mention of those sectors requiring extra permits under Lao laws and regulations.


Codification of list of regulated & controlled sectors in Laos facilitates easier investment.

Listing of regulated & controlled sectors facilitates greater investment in Laos.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith approved the list of sectors that are subject to government control by way of Prime Ministerial decree issued January 10 regarding the list of controlled and concession-based businesses.

Sectors subject to considerations of national security, social order, and environmental protection and the respective regulatory authorities are spelled out in the list.

In various sectors not listed, operators are able to proceed to apply for a business and operating license from the commerce sector without having to consult any other state agencies, provided they do not otherwise contravene Lao laws, orders, decrees and regulations.

According to the list (as translated to English from original in the Lao language), permits are required for business operations in the following sectors:

Section 1: Alcoholic and other Beverages, Tobacco, Textiles, Paper and Packaging, Chemicals, Medicines, Rubber and Plastics, Minerals and Metals, Gaming and other Equipment, Waste and Recycling.

Section 2 (Domestic Activities): Wholesale and Retail sales of automobiles and motorcycles; Wholesale of anything except automobiles and motorcycles; Retail sales of anything except automobiles and motorcycles; Real estate activities;

Section 3 (Import/Export activities): Wholesale and retail sales and repair of automobiles and motorcycles; Wholesale of anything except automobiles and motorcycles.

Businesses of types not on the list should find it easier to operate, obtain an ID and operating license.

Steps in the right direction for investment

The codification of the list and relevant sectors is considered a significant development in the campaign by the government of Laos to facilitate an improved business climate nationwide.

Until the publication of the list, it was not stated clearly in a single place which regulatory entities potential investors must contact to obtain enterprise registration certificates or operating licenses.

Local and foreign investors seeking to operate one of the types of business listed must take all measures to comply with the relevant government controls and regulations.

The list spells out special conditions business operators must be ready to follow if their operations are deemed to reside within these controlled categories.

List of controlled sectors in Laos improves business and investment climate.

List of controlled sectors in Laos improves business and investment climate.

Laotian Times reports on business matters in and affecting Laos and the Laotian community abroad.

Laos’ First Real Estate Expo Expecting To Draw 40+ Firms To 2-Day Fiesta

via laorealestate.la yula.la & LNCCI. Laotian Times, Lao Post, Champa Meuang Lao among the media partners.

The first real estate investment expo in Laos is set to open eyes, hearts, dreams, and pocketbooks at Don Chan Palace Hotel on Friday & Saturday, March 1-2 2019.

Open to attendance from the public with free entry, Patrons will not only have a chance to eye off some the nation’s best property deals, but go in the draw to win international flight packages and a host of other prizes.

Laorealestate.la, in partnership with the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) and Laos’ leading online marketplace, www.yula.la, is excited to announce it will be hosting the event.

The Laorealestate.la Expo 2019 is set to bring together Laos’ top property developers, architects, builders, real estate agencies, plot land vendors, banks offering home loans, insurance companies, law firms, and even international property investments.

The Laotian Times, Lao Post and Champa Meuang Lao magazine were among media partners in attendance at the launch.

More than 40 firms will exhibit in one room, for two days only, and the event is expecting over 3000 local and international attendees. Laos’ best luxury car brands and related businesses will also exhibit at the entrance of the event.

On top of a variety of property offerings, the Laorealestate.la Expo will also offer attendees access to a dedicated free seminar room with over 20 seminars from Laos’ leading real estate agents, property development experts, economists, lawyers, financiers, and Government officials.

Various international guests will present in the seminar room, to take a look at Laos’ real estate market in a regional context.

Seminars are focussed on educating buyers and sellers on the Lao investment climate, regulation, pitfalls, and upsides of the sector, and advice for first both first home and experienced buyers.

A special guest confirmed for the event is Dr. Somchai Charoenvarakiet, a Thai Feng Shui Real Estate consultant of over 20 years.

Dr. Somchai is set to offer his insights on how to maximize the positive energy of their home or office through Feng Shui design techniques.

All seminars will be translated via headsets in Lao, English and Chinese languages.

For the first time in the country’s history, all the big names from the Lao real estate industry will be together under one roof.

This presents a perfect opportunity for local buyers and international investors to survey the country’s best property opportunities.

Property sellers and financiers will also bring special expo-only promotions to guests.

 “The LNCCI is proud to be a partner of the first ever specialised real estate investment expo in Laos,” Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), Mr. Daovone Phachanthavong, told the media gathered at the launch.

“Ultimately, events such these will develop the whole sector and the wider economy, sharing information, best practices, business connections and generating a wider consumer base for exhibitors and sponsors, across both local and international networks.”

“This exciting event will provide the perfect platform to celebrate Laos’ real estate industry and to showcase the opportunities this market has to offer to both end-buyers and investors,” Mr Dominick Williams, Chief Executive Officer of APA Insurance Laos (Phongsavanh Insurance (APA) Co., Ltd), the main sponsor and key partner of the laorealestate.la Expo 19 alongside the LNCCI, Yula.la and laorealestate.la, told the gathering.

“Ultimately this will support the progress of the Laos real estate sector and the economy as a whole. As a leading local provider of property and construction insurance, as well as mortgage protection insurance, APA Insurance is delighted to support Expo as partner and main sponsor, and we very much look forward to welcoming guests to Don Chan on March 1st and 2nd, 2019”.

“The 2019 Expo is a great platform for property related businesses to generate leads and increase sales, it also represents a chance to celebrate the local real estate industry and give businesses an opportunity to strengthen their brand.” Mr. James Whitehead, CEO of Yula.la & laorealestate.la, said.

“For our attendees, we are offering a unique opportunity to view a range of property investment options in one room, over 2 days; ranging from plot land options, houses, villas, condos, construction firms, architectural designers, and property services and advice.

“First home buyers will also benefit from a range of home loan options, and specific legal and insurance advice.

“Those seeking international investment, travel, immigration and education options will also benefit from a range of exhibitors advertising opportunities in destinations such as Australia, USA, Europe, Malaysia, and Thailand – to name a few.

“The dedicated seminar room will offer a perfect and totally free opportunity for potential property buyers to learn about taxes, valuations, land laws, investment considerations, market trends and how to finance a home safely, among many other topics. We will have over 20 local and international speakers in the seminar section, over the two-day event.

“The event is now over 70% sold out for exhibitors and sponsors, thanks to a huge effort from the yula.la sales and marketing team, and we have already registered over 1300 local and international guests to join us next month.”

Digital Classified Group (DCG), the Australian-based parent company of Yula.la & Laorealestate.la, is bringing the real estate show concept to Laos after having successfully ran similar expos in several other markets internationally, including Cambodia and Papau New Guinea.

It is boasting a track record of well over USD $80 million worth of property sales at those various events, 30,000 attendees and over 200+ exhibitors.

The event will also be supported through a wide array of Lao and international media partners, including major local media channels both on and offline, Lao’s most prominent business chambers, and an array of investor networks across ASEAN and in China.

Digital Classified Lao Sole Co., Ltd., the Lao subsidiary of Digital Classified Group, would like to extend the utmost thanks to our partners of the first ever Laorealestate.la Expo, namely the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment & APA Insurance.

Those wanting to supercharge their brand and business connections are urged to sign up for a booth.

Lao Real Estate Expo 2019

To become an exhibitor or sponsor and take your real estate brand to the next level, visit https://realestatekh.lpages.co/lao-real-estate-expo-2019-exhibitors-sponsors/ or contact: +856 20 55 550 906 | contact@yula.la

Attendees are  encouraged to register as soon for event updates and prizes vis https://realestatekh.lpages.co/lao-real-estate-expo-2019-attendees/ to sign up for free entry and RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/2192522880987586/

Sponsors include APA Insurance, provider of property and construction insurance, Archineer Associates, Architecture, Engineering and Consultancy firm; Aristo Developers, Property Developing companies in Cyprus, and Bluegrass Design Group and Guru Group, end-to-end marketing companies.

Additional Partners & Media include American-Lao Business Association, The European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Laos, Austcham Lao, Muan.la, Bizgital, ECCIL (The European Business Chamber), The Laotian Times & LaoPost, Talatlao magazine, Realestate.com.kh, Champa Meuanglao Magazine, J&C Services, 108 Jobs, cvConnect, Kiwipay, Silkroad Media and Big Blue.

The Laotian Times reporting on real estate issues and stories can be found here.

via laorealestate.la yula.la & LNCCI. Laotian Times, Lao Post, Champa Meuang Lao among the media partners.

Lao Real Estate Expo 2019
via laorealestate.la yula.la & LNCCI. Laotian Times, Lao Post, Champa Meuang Lao among the media partners.

Words + Laotian Times; Images + Laos Briefly

Simple, Natural, Innovative As BambooLao Straws Slurp Up Tourism Award

Luang Prabang’s very own BambooLao has captured the top prize and a US$10,000 Innovation Grant in the 2018 Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) challenge, which is described as “an elite travel startup competition, supported by the Australian Government and Asian Development Bank, (including) Asia’s most prominent travel-specialized venture capitalists among its advisors.

“BambooLao is on a mission to eliminate single-use plastics from hotels and resorts across Asia. They have produced more than 80,000 reusable bamboo straws and other bamboo utensils, using indigenous bamboo varieties and a proprietary natural treatment process.

“Their straws are used by Aman Group, Pullman, Rosewood Group, and Sofitel properties, as well as EXO Travel tours. BambooLao estimates their environmentally-friendly products have displaced the use of 5 million single-use plastic straws.”

MIST’s top prize comes with a USD10,000 innovation grant.



Winner of MIST’s 2018 Startup Accelerator, Laos’ Luang Prabang’s BambooLao.

“The MIST innovation grant will help us scale–up production from one to three villages. We must invest in capacity to meet growing international demand,” said BambooLao founder Arounothay Khoungkhakoune was reported as saying.

Bamboo Straws Production
Bamboo straw production a community process.

Vietnamese startup Ecohost reportedly captured MIST’s second prize and received a USD5,000 grant. Ecohost facilitates quality tourism experiences in the Vietnamese countryside, working with rural communities to develop tours and activities while improving the capacity of local homestays to serve international guests.

“BambooLao, Ecohost, and other MIST finalists demonstrate how the Mekong region’s bright, innovative entrepreneurs are finding practical solutions to solve industry problems while striving to make tourism more inclusive and sustainable,” said Jens Thraenhart, co-organizer of MIST and executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.

According to the organisation, “MIST supports high-growth-potential emerging market startups in travel and hospitality, particularly startups that generate positive impacts for communities, culture, and the environment. The program’s five 2018 finalists refined their business acumen and pitching skills during MIST’s weeklong business fundamentals boot camp, five months of customized coaching by industry experts, and MIST pitch competitions in Ho Chi Minh City, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, and ITB-Asia’s Mekong Travel Startup Forum in Singapore.”


Looking North: Opportunity has Laos’ Young Entrepreneurs Eyeing China

Lao Young Entrepreneurs Delegation

Partners from China willing to invest in business opportunities in Laos to supply outsized demands in their giant home market are in the sights of a delegation representing Lao Young Entrepreneurs Association that departed Vientiane’s Wattay Airport yesterday bound for a meet that follows the China-ASEAN Expo held earlier this month in the same city.

Mr Khamsene Sisavong, President of the Young Entrepreneur Association of Laos, is leading a group of young businesspeople that will join regional counterparts to attend a conference in Nanning from September 26-27. 

On offer are opportunities to produce goods and services in Laos or the Chinese market, one of the largest in the world with a population of 1.3 billion people.

“We have to find our business potential.” 

Transportation between Laos and China will no longer be an onerous barrier with the commissioning of the Lao-China Railway due in 2021.

Khamsense said Asean and China have signed a free trade agreement that aims to end tariff barriers, meaning exports and imports in the region will be easier, both to and from Laos.

However, Laos needs partnerships with Chinese firms to produce goods and value-add to Lao products for this vast, complicated and nuanced market. “Laos has the policies and the potentials to produce goods for the Chinese market. However, these policies will not be possible without the participation of Chinese businesses.”

He said Chinese firms have access to finance and technology that can be utilised with Lao partners so that they will be in a fine position to produce for the Chinese market when the railway is operational, he said.

Opportunities in Agribusiness

Agribusiness is a sector that can help make the most from Laos’ vast tracts of fertile land and youthful rural labor force to supply clean, safe food products and agricultural inputs to the vast and fast-moving Chinese market.

Yet no matter the sector, he said young entrepreneurs from Laos ought to be aware of growing competition in Asean and China, and it is time for them to explore business opportunities and take calculated risks so that they and their country can become successful.

Why Do The Chinese Come to Laos?

Chinese Come to Laos

The number of Chinese immigrants to Laos increases daily, with men and women who struggled to succeed in rapidly developing China now seeking new lives for themselves in Laos. More than wealth or opportunity, these Chinese business people wish to begin anew in a country where life moves at a slower pace, without any the stress of their homeland. Around them grow new communities and groups, reflecting the unique presence they bring to Laos.



Source: Asia Insight, NHK World

Staying On Top: How 108 Jobs is Riding the Startup Wave

108 Jobs

When it comes to technology-based start-ups – or any new business, for that matter – disruption is the name of the game. You want to storm an existing market, or creep into the margins and beat others at their own game, securing your own place in the vast ocean that is the modern start-up landscape.

For some, it’s enough simply to cruise the waves and keep your head above the water. But for Keovisouk Dalasane, treading water will never be enough. His rapidly growing jobs website, 108 Jobs, may have arrived on the Lao market at just the right time, with the rise of the internet and the subsequent weakening of the print classifieds, but for Keo, this is all the more reason to stay on the alert for the constant threat of disruption.

And so the website – an easy-to-navigate, constantly updated list of employment vacancies in Laos – comes with a magazine of the same name, and now, an app to appeal to the many people who search the job market from their phones.

Keo has always had an eye to the future. Raised in Vientiane, he finished his schooling there, before heading overseas to study. In Thailand, he studied human resources, never imagining that two decades on, he would have a grip on the Vientiane employment market via his own start-up. He went on to study economics in Japan, where he started a PhD and decided, after envisaging his future post-doctorate, that he didn’t like what he saw, and dropped out in his third year.

But he’s adamant that his failure to finish has never been a problem.

“That’s one thing maybe I want to share with people. It doesn’t mean I spent two and a half years as a waste. I myself actually value the process a lot, not the end result,” he says.

“In between, you see what you learn, the journey is more important, and I learned a lot. I might not make it to a degree, but then all those things are still with me. How you analyse things, how you see things differently.”

By the time he returned to Vientiane in 2009, he was ready to settle down, start a family and find a niche ripe for a start-up enterprise.

Although the internet was still relatively new in Laos, he knew from his experience overseas that the sector would grow rapidly, and that internet-based services had the potential to turn a profit if the timing was right. 

“I worked for an online market research company in Japan that allowed me to travel to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, all these South East Asian cities, and I started to see how things would evolve in my own country.”

And so, in 2012, 108 Jobs was born – so named for the Lao expression meaning “tons of jobs”. “We decided to launch a website at that time, but we decided also to make it a little bit different from other websites, by launching together with a magazine,” he says.

“That could differentiate us. As for the competition with local newspaper we have the website as an edge.”

108 Jobs

“In Laos, you cannot be too specific, we must be ready for a broader audience, and even when we launched, the NGO sector already had their own website. But then what made us really, really different was we had this online platform, we had this magazine, which is freely available, plus the dedicated customer service team, that made it different, I think.”

There were other online job sites at the time, but 108 soon surged ahead, taking just two and a half years to become a success. The new app was, to him, a logical step along the way, tapping into the multitudes of people who not only live their daily lives through their phones, but also value the catchiness and cache of a cool new app.

But 108 Jobs goes beyond just appearances. Behind the user-friendly façade is a busy network of contacts and all kind of synergies when it comes to the employment market.

“We have customer lists, we have customer relationships, so what we do is we offer them whatever they need within the space of HR, not only job ads,” he says.

“Over the past two years, we’ve expanded into recruitment, we do payroll service … and we do recruitment outsourcing and all that extra stuff.”

Keo has also launched a companion website, Job Jib-Jib, aimed at the high-turnover hospitality sector and job-seekers wanting short-term employment.

“It’s another website which is simplified, very easy, you can just post three lines – what age, what time you work, for what. And we’re launching an app for that, and that’s going to be even more disruption than 108 Jobs.”

“It’s an untapped sector, where we can see a lot of things happening. It’s going to be very amazing where people can sign onto our app, and the restaurant owner can hunt for you. They are going to look for you, or you can apply and you can chat. This is happening in the west now.”

The team has also developed a restaurant- listing website, Spoon.la, and the synergies with 108 Jobs is obvious, while the name of the magazine has recently changed to just 108 Magazine, allowing it to spread beyond just the hospitality sector.

“The reason I am doing a lot of all this, I think, is we are in a very innovative space,” he says.

“Anyone can disrupt – see how we disrupted the existing classified business.  And we can always be disrupted by a new guy, and we want to be disrupting ourselves before anyone else comes in.”

So, while riding each new wave might look easy to an outsider, Keo says it’s important not to get too comfortable up there.

“We’re always on the top of the wave and seeing what’s coming,” he says.

“If we don’t stop, we will always see what’s coming next.”


Champa Meuanglao
Written by:
Sally Pryor
Originally Published in: Champa Meuanglao,  official Lao Airlines in-flight magazine, 2017 May-June Edition