AustCham: Laos’s First International Chamber of Commerce
Australia’s strong commitment to promoting trade and supporting the private sector in Lao PDR would not be possible without the partnership between the Australian Embassy and the businesses of the Australia Chamber of Commerce.
Back in 2005, with support from the Australian Embassy in Lao PDR, a number of Australian businesses came together to establish the Australia and New Zealand Business Association (ANZBA). As the first foreign chamber of commerce in Lao PDR, it initially aimed at growing Australian and New Zealand business interests in the country. The association was later renamed to the Australia Chamber of Commerce (AustCham).
Quote from Carli Renzi – Former AustCham Lao President
For many years, AustCham has organised events to provide space for sharing and discussing insights on markets and also for promoting business networks amongst local and foreign individuals, businesses and government officials. AustCham members, including Australian alumni from the private sector, have benefited from partnering with one another to seek new opportunities and expand their businesses.
AustCham also plays a significant role in advocating for interests of the private sector through its active participation in government forums (e.g. the Lao Business Forums), consultation meetings and the like. In addition, AustCham has works collaboratively with AustCham ASEAN and Austrade to actively promote Lao PDR to the region.
Over the past 16 years, the role of AustCham has evolved. AustCham currently works across the wider business community to advocate for better policies with the purpose to improve the business environment and drive the economic development of Lao PDR. In addition to Australian businesses, AustCham members come from an extensive range of sectors including mining, agriculture, banking, logistics, hospitality, education, UXO clearance, insurance, legal and tax, food and beverage, hydropower engineering and more.
One of the most outstanding achievements of AustCham is the first ever Laos-Australia Business Forum in Sydney in March 2018. The forum was hosted by H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith in his role as Prime Minister of Lao PDR and attended by government and business delegations from the two countries. The event provided an opportunity for linking Australian and Lao businesses, and showcasing the Lao government’s plans to increase competition and attract more quality investment.
The Embassy looks forward to the further growth of AustCham’s membership and welcomes members from other industries. Australian trade and investment will continue to play a part in the economic development of Lao PDR.
H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith and delegations attended the Laos – Australia Business Forum in Sydney in 2018