Economic and Trade

70 YEARS OF ECONOMIC AND TRADE

When Lao PDR opened its economy in 1986 by implementing the New Economic Mechanism (NEM), Australia was ready to work with Laos on developing its private sector and opening up the country to trade with the ASEAN region and the world.

Establishing opportunities for trade

ບາດກ້າວທຳອິດທີ່ສຳຄັນຂອງ ສປປ ລາວ ແມ່ນການເປີດຂົວມິດຕະພາບແມ່ນໍ້າລາວ-ໄທ ໃນປີ 1994. ການສະໜອງເງິນທຶນຂອງອົດສະຕາລີ ສຳລັບການອອກແບບ ແລະ ກໍ່ສ້າງຂົວດັ່ງກ່າວ ແມ່ນນິມິດໝາຍທີ່ມີຄວາມສຳຄັນໃນການອຳນວຍຄວາມສະດວກທາງດ້ານການຄ້າຂອງສປປ ລາວ ກັບ ປະເທດໄທ ແລະ ບັນດາປະເທດເພື່ອນບ້ານອື່ນໆ. ຂົວແຫ່ງນີ້ໄດ້ສ້າງທ່າອ່ຽງໃຫ້ແກ່ຂົວມິດຕະພາບອື່ນໆທີ່ຕາມມາ ຊຶ່ງເປັນການຊຸກຍູ້ສົ່ງເສີມການຄ້າຂອງສປປ ລາວ.

The private sector in Laos is important for driving productive growth of the whole economy. Australia is proud that it was a group of Australian businesses that established the first international chamber of commerce in Laos: AustCham

ບາດກ້າວທຳອິດທີ່ມີຄວາມສຳຄັນຂອງສປປ ລາວ ແມ່ນການເປີດຂົວມິດຕະພາບລາວ-ໄທ ໃນປີ 1994. ການສະໜອງເງິນທຶນຂອງອົດສະຕາລີ ໃນການອອກແບບ ແລະ ກໍ່ສ້າງຂົວດັ່ງກ່າວ ແມ່ນນິມິດໝາຍທີ່ມີຄວາມສຳຄັນໃນການອຳນວຍຄວາມສະດວກທາງດ້ານການຄ້າຂອງລາວ ກັບໄທ ແລະ ປະເທດເພື່ອນບ້ານອື່ນໆ. countries.ຂົວດັ່ງກ່າວໄດ້ສ້າງທ່າອ່ຽງໃຫ້ແກ່ຂົວມິດຕະພາບອື່ນໆທີ່ຊຸກຍູ້ການຄ້າຂອງລາວ.

1996 - 2003
From 1996-2003, Australia supported Laos to integrate with the ASEAN regional economy. This included working with UNDP to conduct a study to determine assistance for the Lao Government to align with ASEAN integration policy; as well as capacity building for Laos to integrate with ASEAN trading system.
2004
In 2004, the Lao Government invited Australia to serve as the Facilitator for the Integrated Framework (IF). In this role, Australia helped improve Laos’ trading performance as a means to promote sustainable economic growth and household income growth for the poor.
2006
One of the outputs of the IF process was Laos’ first Diagnostic Trade and Integration Study (DTIS) in 2006, with an action matrix of core activities. This IF work paved the way for Laos’ application for entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
2013
Laos’ accession to the WTO in 2013 is a real milestone in the history of Laos. Australia worked alongside UNDP, the World Bank and other donors to assist the Lao Government to meet requirements from the WTO since Laos expressed interest in 2000. After a huge effort from the Lao Government, Laos become a member of WTO on 2 February 2013

To help Laos to meets its WTO membership commitments, Australia continued to support Laos through the Trade Development Facilitation Project and the Lao PDR Competitiveness and Trade Project, which continues to this day, working to improve Laos’ economic competitiveness and trade facilitation.

“Australia has been one of the key partners in Laos’ development for several decades. Australia’s development assistance is making an important impact in education, rural development and trade reform areas. Australia’s grant funding… supported the Lao Government’s efforts in integrating with regional and international trading systems, and improving export competitiveness of the non-resource sectors”.

Former Minister of Industry and Commerce, Madame Khemmani Pholsena.

Regional trade integration

ASEAN and regional trade integration are also critical for Lao’s economic development. As a member of ASEAN, Laos has been a signatory of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) since January 2010.

AANZFTA has reduced tariffs between and boosted trade among the signatory countries. Trade between ASEAN and neighbouring countries has expanded since ASEAN joined with five big economic neighbouring countries, including Australia, China, Korea, Japan and New Zealand to form the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in November 2020.

Australia supports Lao’s aspiration to graduate from least developed economy status, growing into a dynamic, land-linked economy that can deliver improvements in poverty reduction and trade successfully at the regional and global level.

Working with the private sector

The private sector in Laos is important for driving productive growth of the whole economy. In 2005, Australian businesses led the establishment of the first international chamber of commerce in Laos: AustCham.

Laos is lucky to have a young population with many talented entrepreneurs. Australia has worked to support women-led and women-owned businesses. Under the Business Assistance Facility, Australia provides matching grants to SMEs to grow their businesses. To date, more than half of these grants have been given to women-owned businesses.

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