16 July 2019
LAOS: Overseas Exporters Freed from Need to Secure Domestic Business Licence
Overseas exporters are no longer required to register locally or obtain a domestic business licence prior to supplying goods to the country. In line with this, all such businesses now only need to be approved by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC).
In order to secure such approval, overseas exporters should submit a request to the MOIC’s Department of Import/Export (DIMEX). All applicants, however, must be registered as a legal business entity in a member nation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while also being able to supply documents to that effect, as well as proof that they have never been found in breach of any relevant financial regulations. All such documentation must also be verified by the Lao diplomatic representative in the jurisdiction where the registration is claimed.
It is expected that the move will streamline export procedures and improve the country’s overall business climate. It is also hoped that it will improve the country’s standing in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, where it currently languishes at 154 (out of 190).