VIENTIANE, Sept. 5, (Xinhua) -- Laos will try to cut by half the number of procedures, time taken, costs involved and documents currently required to obtain an import or export licence by 2019, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.
The easing of the procedures required to get an import permit is significant for socio-economic development and trade facilitation. The licence requirement imposes significant costs on businesses, both in fees, time and labor, and goods are frequently stuck at checkpoints due to the slow inspection of documents, according to the report.
The daily quoted Director General of the Department of Import and Export in Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Soulinhon Philavong, as saying that in 2019, the department, the Trade Facilitation Secretariat and other sectors would reduce or improve by at least 50 percent the procedures, time spending, costs and unnecessary documents.
Modified business certainty and governmental transparency would improve Laos' international competitive rankings and Ease of Doing Business(EODB) rankings, particularly the "Trading across Borders" indicator. This would create a more favorable investment climate, said the report.
The latest annual ratings published by the World Bank place Laos at 141 among 190 economies in terms of EODB.
The Lao government is now working towards removing trade barriers to business and reducing Laos' EODB ranking from three digits to two digits by 2020.