VIENTIANE: The Ministry of Planning and Investment has launched a new version of its website, making it easier for investors to access important economic and business information.
The website www.investlao.gov.la, which is administered by the ministry’s Investment Promotion Department, provides essential and comprehensive information needed by investors to start a business in Laos.
The key information provided by the newly designed website includes statistics that businesses can use to analyse investment trends in Laos, an investment application form, and how to obtain a business visa.
Other important information relates to special economic zones in Laos as well as the particular fields in which central and provincial authorities encourage investment.
Important government announcements that affect the operation of businesses are also posted on the website.
One of the main changes to the website is the addition of a section on the reforms being undertaken to improve the ease of doing business, as well as updates on the progress that has been made.
The website also posts key government decisions on ways to improve the business climate, which business operators can use as reference when seeking permission to invest and operate in Laos.
According to the website, the government has eliminated some of the steps required to start a business. For example. business operators can register their enterprise and obtain a tax ID at the same time. This is possible because the government has separated business registration from the issuing of a licence to operate.
This means operators can establish their business first and then use this legal identity to enter into deals with business partners. In the past, the authorities issued the enterprise registration certificate and licence at the same time, which was not practical.
Another key change to the start-up process is that after receiving a business registration certificate and tax ID, businesses will automatically be given an enterprise stamp. In the past, an enterprise stamp had to be applied for separately.
The most important information provided by the website relates to the roles and duties of ministries and state agencies in implementing the government’s business reform initiative and the steps taken by each ministry to put these into practice.
This information provides clear guideline and states the time it will take for government officials to provide these services. This enables businesses to hold officials accountable in the course of their duties as they can cite the guidelines as a reference.
The government has made a strong commitment to make it easier for businesses to operate as it attempts to diversify the economic base and reduce reliance on the natural resources sector. - Vientiane Times/Asian News Network