VIENTIANE, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has told the National Assembly (NA) that his government would do more to improve business environment after Laos' global ease-of-doing-business ranking fell 13 places, local media reported Wednesday.
Responding to questions from members of parliament last week, the premier said the measures the government had imposed to improve ease of doing business needed more time to yield fruit, local daily Vientiane Times reported.
He named five areas the government will be focusing on, in addition to the Prime Minister's Order issued in February on the improvement of procedures and coordinated mechanisms to facilitate business operations.
Detailing the focal areas, the premier said his administration would work closely with businesses to learn about the difficulties they were encountering. Guidance will be given on ways to eliminate these difficulties in a quicker and more efficient manner.
Laos will review and amend legislation that is contradictory or is an obstacle to business operations and investment, the prime minister told the NA's ongoing ordinary session.
The government will make a point of explaining legislation that relates to business operations and investment to ensure that business executives understand better and that legislation is strictly observed.
The government will continue to streamline the administrative structure of state entities, their roles, coordinated mechanisms, related databases and other instruments to create conditions favourable for business operation.
In addition, the government will work towards increasing the responsibility of state officials at all levels and improving their willingness to serve.
Action will be taken to mitigate and even eliminate autocratic practices and misconduct by civil servants. The government will take decisive action against cadres who violate the regulations and laws, or engage in corruption or other forms of misconduct.
Efforts to improve ease of doing business, one of the eight measures taken by the government to spur economic growth, sparked heated debate among Assembly members and the general public, after the World Bank's annual ranking showed that Laos had dropped 13 places to 154th out of 190 economies worldwide.
Laos's ranking worsened despite the government's intensified efforts to remove barriers to business, said the daily report.
Thongloun said he believed that with the government's determination to work harder, it would be able to make a significant improvement in business environment.