On Tuesday, 29 November 2022, Chairman of the British Business Group in Lao PDR, John Cockcroft, and Executive Secretary, Senthavisay Xayphrakassa, attended the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom’s Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Lao Chamber of Professional Accountants and Auditors (LCPAA) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Vientiane. This MoU follows a similar agreement that was signed between the two professional accounting organisations in 2016 for a 5-year period. In attendance were representatives of government and learned institutions including those from the Ministry of Finance, the Banking Institute of Laos, the National University of Laos through its Faculty of Economics and Business Management and other related organisations.

The signing was preceded by a working group discussion on matters relating to the principles detailed in the MoU and the practical collaboration and cooperation between both professional accounting organisations and the facilitation of BBGL locally to promote the joint business development of ACCA and LCPAA through conferences, networking and other events.

In the working group, representing ACCA from the United Kingdom was their Cluster Head for Mainland Southeast Asia, Renjith Varma, and Head of ACCA Cambodia and now Laos, Ratna Neou. The LCPAA was represented by its President, Sonexay Silaphet, its Vice President, Khampiew Thipphavongphanh (LNCCI), and Council Members Malaiphone Bjaaland and Phonemany Sisomphong (LDB Bank). Matters discussed in the working group included development of interest in the accounting profession in high school graduates, use of the ACCA curriculum for further education by university courses and continuing professional development, the need for a level of language ability using the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) by teaching and setting professional examinations in the English language, removal of artificial barriers and sustainability of development.

During the day previous to the MoU signing, BBGL took the opportunity to arrange a courtesy visit to the British Embassy and for meetings between the visiting ACCA representatives and the UK nationals who were already international Members or Fellows of the ACCA based in Vientiane and managing businesses here.