Author Archives: bbgadmin

Executive Board Member: Emma Pelletreau

Emma Pelletreau has been living and working in the Lao PDR since 2001. An anthropologist by training, Emma came to Laos looking for ways to combine her interests in contributing to sustainable development, south-east Asian culture and language, and engaging in applied anthropology. After years of freelance consulting for a variety of public and private sector clients, Emma started Civitas Co., Ltd. with her friend, and now business partner, Mette Boatman. Civitas is a value-driven boutique consulting company which supports clients engaging with communities in the Lao PDR through research actions, strategic communication, and social mapping.

As the Managing Director of Civitas, Emma focuses on FPIC (free, prior, informed consent) processes, and on strengthening the two-way communication between her clients and the communities with which they interact. Emma has considerable experience in designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative information gathering methodologies, in engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and development actors for capacity building, and in maintaining high quality and consistency of data. Emma was recently interviewed about her work with Civitas and you can watch the interview and learn more about her work here.

Emma serves on the Executive Board of the BBGL and Chairs the CSR Sub-committee and its work in supporting the BBGL’s local charities. Emma is always available for our members if they have questions about Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Relationships, or information gathering/research.

On the personal side, in 2009 Emma met Gregoire Pelletreau (in Blue Bananas – remember that?) – they married in 2012, and have two children, Hugo and Chloe. Emma and her family will be relocating to Paris at the end of the year – but after 20 years and a thriving business here, rest assured she will maintain an active interest in all things Lao – and be back to visit!

You can connect with Emma via LinkedIn or email on

BBGL Chairman: John Cockcroft

John Cockcroft has lived and worked in Lao PDR continuously since 2010.  He has enjoyed a long and successful career in senior positions managing and directing major heavy civil engineering construction projects and companies around the world.  He is a Fellow of both the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK and the  American Society of Civil Engineers in the USA.  He worked as a contractor for the first 30+ years after graduation, and for owners and their consulting engineers since the year 2000, working on large hydropower projects in Pakistan, Iceland and Lao PDR.  Following completion of the Theun-Hinboun Expansion and Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Projects in Lao PDR, he is currently Construction Management Advisor and Contracts and Commercial Director of the Vientiane based developer Chaleun Sekong Energy Company, responsible for work on several ongoing projects at Nam Kong 3, Nam Emoun, Namphak and Nam Theun 1.

In parallel with employment that has taken him to over 35 countries on 4 continents, and residence in the UK, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Kenya, Egypt, the USA, Pakistan, Iceland and Lao PDR,  John has held voluntary positions as an officer or Board member in numerous organisations in the places he has resided.  These include being a Board member of the Federation of Piling Contractors and Examiner of the Institution of Civil Engineers in the UK, Chairman of the Creek Football Club in Dubai and the Tarbela Dam Golf Club in Pakistan,  and Board member of the Engineering Institute of Thailand and the Deep Foundations Institute in the USA.  John Cockcroft joined the British Business Group in Lao PDR in 2018 after he returned to Vientiane following being site-based on projects and became its Chairman in December 2019.

As a former international footballer and team captain as a student and then as a part-time professional in the UK, and still a tennis player and golfer today, John retains a strong interest in all sports as well as a keen business sense in a number of trade sectors.

You can reach John on or learn more about his professional background by connecting on LinkedIn.

Jaguar Land Rover Launch New Electric Jaguar I-Pace

On Saturday, 28 August 2021, Jaguar Land Rover, Gold Sponsor of the British Business Group in Lao PDR (BBGL), carried out the launch of their Jaguar I-Pace All Electric Car with multiple events at the Vientiane Convention Centre to comply with the Lao PDR Government’s COVID-19 restrictions including mask-wearing and social distancing. 

The fully electric Jaguar I-PACE is a new and unique concept in the automotive business, especially for two exquisite brands: Jaguar and Land Rover.

The launch ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr Sinava Souphanouvong; U K Ambassador to Laos, Mr John Pearson; General Manager of Jaguar Land Rover Laos, Mr Biju Narayanan; and Automotive Managing Director of the RMA group, Mr Wayne MacIntosh; along with government officials and members of the business community.

In terms of performance, I-PACE is a Jaguar above all else – a true driver’s car, with its powerful electric motor. As for the design, the exterior, featuring an elegant, highly aerodynamic design, the I-PACE has been created to provide efficiency by slicing cleanly through the air for maximum range and stability.

For the interior, the I-PACE seamlessly integrates technology and abundant space. The nature of the electric power train offers additional space, providing more freedom to maximise the comfort provided by I-PACE’s interior. In-car technology, the new one-touch infotainment system, Pivi Pro, delivers all key infotainment at a glance.

Following entertaining performances by a solo Lao male singer and dance troupe, BBGL Board Member and RMA  Managing Director (Automotive) Wayne McIntosh gave a welcoming speech followed by Biju Narayan, General Manager of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) who spoke about the leading role of JLR in bringing electric cars to Lao PDR. 

Chairman, John Cockcroft, represented the British Business Group at the event.  Ms. Sommana Chantharaty and Ms. Keo Oudone Southammavong, respectively co-owners of BBGL Company Members Lao Development Hub and Consulting and Ban Keo Hats and Handicrafts, were also present to support the occasion. 

Individual Member, and soon to be Company Member, Dean Robertson, CEO of Phongsavanh Insurance (APA) was also in attendance, with APA being the first company in Laos to introduce its bespoke Jaguar Land Rover Electric Vehicle Insurance Policy in the Laos market. 

Wall’s Supports Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign in Vientiane Capital

Unilever Services (Lao) Company Limited is pleased to provide 231 million LAK worth 100,000 sticks of Wall’s Ice-cream to those who have got Covid-19 vaccination and medical workers at the vaccination center in Vientiane capital. This support is as part of a series of Unilever’s commitment to help strengthen the Lao Government’s effort in fighting against the pandemic.

Due the Covid-19 outbreak, which has caused the Lao people greatest concern, the bright smile gradually faded. In recent months, the medical workers have been working hard to fight against the Covid-19 outbreak to protect all Lao people.

Wall’s ice-cream would like to bring those smiles back again by helping everyone to find happiness every day, whether that the smiles of your loved ones, the little things and good time from those around us, it is all happiness that grows in our heart.

Because only happiness will make Lao smile again J we will choose to look at everything in positive ways and choose to live with hope. We believe that behind the mask is a smile from everyone , we will fight together. 

So far, we have contributed more than 720 million LAK or 75,566 USD worth essential foods, ice-creams, home care and personal care products and 10 Ventilators to Ministry of Health, some organizations and people of Lao in their fights against the pandemic.

January 2021 – Vang Vieng Networking Event

What a great weekend away in Vang Vieng with BBGL members, friends and family! Whisked along the new Expressway at the wheel of a sporty Jaguar E-Pace and a luxurious Range Rover we arrived in time for lunch and spent the afternoon enjoying the impressive karst scenery before gathering for a riverside dinner at the Inthira Hotel. A huge thank you to Jaguar Land Rover Laos and Inthira Vang Vieng for supporting this event, and to everyone who joined.