Strengthening national-level facilitation, improving the business environment, and enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises
Over the past decade, Laos has made significant strides in opening its economy and achieving high economic growth. However, this growth has been driven primarily by large scale investments in sectors typically dominated by large companies. While small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the majority of businesses and provide the greatest number of private sector jobs in Laos, they often lack the resources or know-how to successfully grow their business or access new, global markets.
We work with the Government of Laos (GoL) to provide targeted advice and training to SMEs to spur job creation, expand regional and international trade, and generate inclusive economic growth.
To achieve the project’s goal of strengthening the business environment, the project focuses on three components:
- Competitiveness of SMEs Improved
- Public Private Sector Collaboration More Inclusive
- More Effective Facilitation of Market Economy
ASI’s role as a subcontractor to the prime implementor, IBI, is to lead Component 3: More Effective Facilitation of Market Economy. We provide overall leadership for the implementation of all Component 3 activities. Activities under Component 3 focus on enhancing GoL trade facilitation services provided to businesses; improving implementation of commercial laws; and encouraging more businesses to access and utilise commercial dispute resolution mechanisms. We also contribute to cross cutting activities, including gender, communication, and monitoring and evaluation, and Component 2 activities.
What the project has achieved so far:
- Supported Ministry of Justice to develop the decree to create Lao PDR’s first-ever private mediation office and set meditation fees which will provide an efficient way to resolve commercial disputes.
- Developed and published the Guidebook to Lao Official Gazette, a tool that will close knowledge gaps to ultimately enhance the transparency and implementation of laws
- Established the first-ever public-private dialogue in Champasak, the second largest province in Laos, providing a formal platform for businesses to advocate for necessary reforms
- Developed SMART UP, an e-learning platform dedicated to providing online business training on topics such as basic accounting, marketing and sales.
- Amended and developed over 10 pieces of legislation aimed at improving the business environment on topics from intellectual property to E-commerce.