Category Archives: Uncategorized

Intercham Networking Night 2024

In partnership with business chambers representing the European, Australian, American, Canadian and Japanese markets, the British Business Group jointly hosted the biggest networking event of the year. Over 300 business and diplomatic leaders met for an entertaining and productive evening of networking, kindly hosted and sponsored by RMA Group Lao.

UK-Laos Trade and Investment Factsheet

Every couple of months, the UK Government publishes a factsheet on trade between the UK and Laos. Please find the latest one below:

British Education is Great Roadshow 2024

Saturday 2 March 2024, saw the culmination of the four-day annual ‘British Education is GREAT’ Roadshow 2024, where nine international educational organisations, representing over 50 UK universities and college institutions, gathered in the Crowne Plaza Hotel to give Lao students a chance to meet and discuss the opportunities available to study in the United Kingdom, and how to go about this.

The event was jointly organised by the British Business Group in Lao PDR, soon to be renamed the British Chamber of Commerce in Laos, and the British Education Centre (BEC) in Laos, a company member of BBGL, and was supported by the British Embassy in Laos. The organisers of the event were Siraprapa Sae-leo, Managing Director of BEC, the BBGL Executive Secretary Seng Xayaphrakassa, and outgoing Chairman of BBGL, John Cockcroft, with John and Seng providing English and Lao language translations as joint Master of Ceremonies.

Having already visited the campuses of several international schools in Luang Prabang and Vientiane for presentations in the preceding days, this final day of the Roadshow 2024 gave Lao students information on the potential scholarships available, student accommodation in the cities and institutions of their choice, the assistance available to apply for university and college education in the UK, application for student visas, the guidance to achieve the necessary grades in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and opportunities to work in the UK both whilst a student and after graduation as, for example, a trainee in their chosen field

The event was attended by former Lao Ambassador to the UK, and current Chairman of the Lao-UK Friendship Association, Amb. Sayakane Sisouvong, and was also honoured to have the new UK Ambassador to Laos, Her Excellency Melanie Barlow, give an address to the attending students, parents, teachers and education specialists.

Ambassador Mel Barlow reminded the audience that the UK has been the preferred choice for education of some of the most important minds in history, and that one in four world leaders had studied in the UK. She pointed out that UK universities are globally recognised, with 4 in the top 10 and 18 in the top 100 according to QS, and reminded everyone that the UK’s education sector ranks second only to the US for the number of international students, there being half a million international students in the UK in 2018-19.

Ambassador Mel Barlow went on to say that education in the UK gives career advantages in a fast moving world and referred to the several reasons why employers seek UK graduates including that UK graduates:
– develop fluent English, the international language of business;
– are more aware of new research and current professional practices because of the UK’s strong connections between education and industry;
– have more cultural experience than students who stay in their home country and cana work with colleagues from all over the world;
– understand how modern business works due to the skills they learned during many placements offered as part of UK courses.

It was also mentioned that living and studying in the UK is an experience to be treasured since the country offers a world class education, high quality teaching and so much to explore. From an open and inclusive way of life to ancient traditions, stunning landscapes to an unbeatable international culture scene, there is much to experience.

Following graduation the Ambassador spoke of the options to stay in the UK for a period, including the government’s Graduate Route visa and Skilled Worker route. She reminded her captivated audience that student visas are being processed within three weeks when a student has an offer of a place at a university and that London is only 15 hours flying time away and is much the same as travelling to many parts of Australasia.

The Ambassador finally reminded students that the British Government offered fully funded Masters scholarships for individuals with demonstrable leadership potential and strong academic backgrounds.

The volunteers from the National University of Laos, Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, and the French International School are to be thanked for their help on Saturday morning, 02 March 2024.

Laos and the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS)

The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) is a preferential trading scheme that has been designed to boost trade with developing countries in order to support their development. The DCTS cuts tariffs, removes conditions and simplifies trading rules for 65 developing countries, including Laos. The scheme entered into force on 19 June 2023 and replaced the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) .

The DCTS is a simpler and more generous preferential trading scheme which benefits UK businesses and consumers by reducing the import cost of thousands of products from around the world. The scheme removes seasonal tariffs, providing more options for British supermarkets all year round.

For businesses in Laos, the DCTS provides a platform to expand exports to the UK market. The scheme offers a range of benefits such as reduced tariffs, simplified trading rules, and increased market access. This can help businesses in Laos to increase their competitiveness and profitability in the UK market. The DCTS also aims to support sustainable growth in developing countries through a more generous unilateral offer.

In order to take advantage of the DCTS, businesses in Laos need to ensure that their products meet the relevant rules of origin criteria. This means that the products must be produced in Laos or meet the relevant transformation requirements.

Download this presentation for more information on the DCTS and Laos specifically.

Reference Material:

How to export to the UK using the Developing Countries Trading Scheme

Identify tariffs by product under the Developing Countries Trading Scheme

Understanding rules of origin under the Developing Countries Trading Scheme

UK standards and regulatory import requirements

How to claim preferences under the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS)

Upcoming Webinars on the DCTS:

Webinar TitleDescriptionSpeaker(s)Date/ TimeLink
Customs for the DCTSThis event will focus on the customs process for using the DCTS including Form A and origin certificates.Steve Lamprell, Senior Lead – Rules of Origin & Agricultural Policy and Sadia Shakeel, Head of Rules of Origin & Agricultural Policy05/02/24 10-11am, GMTClick here to join the meeting
DCTS – AgricultureJoin our agricultural counsellor based In Nairobi who will discuss how to approach trade standards when exporting agricultural products to the UKRebecca Schneider, Agriculture, Food & Drink Attaché for Africa, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 06/02/24 12-1pm, GMT  Click here to join the meeting
UK Market Opportunities and trends in Home and GiftsA representative from Hyve group will discuss market opportunities in the UK and market trends in Home and Gifts based on 2023 data.Suzanne Ellingham, Source Director – Hyve Group plc08/02/24 10-11am, GMT  Click here to join the meeting
DCTS Guidance teach inLearn more about the DCTS, how to use our 7 digital guides, the online tariff tool and moreRupert Casson, Trade Policy Advisor, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office09/02/24 10-11am, GMTClick here to join the meeting
Introduction to UK Trade StandardsJoin representatives from the British Standards Institute (BSI) to learn about how to approach UK trade standards.Peter Sissons, BSI International Engagement Director19/02/24 11am-12pmClick here to join the meeting
High Risk FoodsDavid Lowe from the UK’s Food Standard Agency will talk us through how to export high risk foods to the UK including high risk animal feed.David Lowe, Head of Imports Strategy, Food Standard Agency 19/03/24
10-11am, TBC
Click here to join the meeting

BBGL Christmas Lunch 2023

Our 2023 Christmas lunch was a wonderful opportunity to catch up at the end of a busy year. Love Life put on a sumptuary spread, including a perfect Christmas ham and moreish mince pies! And lucky draw winners went home happy with prizes from Crowne Plaza Vientiane, The Lao Distilling Company, VG Enterprise laos, Grand Hotel Vientiane, Monica Food Supply Company, Villa Opera Italian Cuisine, ຈາກົວ ແລນໂຣເວີ ລາວ and BanKeo Hats and Handicrafts.

Wishing everyone a festive season filled with warmth and good cheer, and a new year bringing continued success and growth 🎁