BBGL Chairman, John Cockcroft, represented the British Business Group in Laos at the Lao Business Leader Awards, held at the National Convention Centre in Vientiane during the afternoon of Monday, 23 January 2023.

For the first time, all Lao Chambers of Commerce and Industry were presented with Certificates of Appreciation in recognition of their contribution to fostering business between Lao PDR and other countries.

As usual, awards were presented to the most successful businesses in Lao PDR during 2022. The event was hosted by the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) at the National Convention Centre to present awards to the country’s most successful businesses. The President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Oudet Souvannavong, presided over the Award presentation while the recently appointed Prime Minister of Laos, Dr. Sonexay Siphandone, addressed the audience and spoke encouragingly to business executives when addressing the Lao Business Leader Awards for Year 2022.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Chambers, ministers, deputy ministers and business representatives from Vientiane and the provinces.

Dr Sonexay said the government was attempting to solve the many problems affecting the economy and was doing everything possible to promote business growth, trade and investment.

Plans were in place to attract more domestic and foreign investment, with the Laos-China Railway, the expressway, and investment in natural resources and other key sectors, being prime examples of the progress made in the country’s development, he added. Over the past two to three years, many businesses and other entities had experienced difficult problems relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, trade, inflation, rising oil prices, and floods, the prime minister observed.

This year the PM stated that his government will set high targets for national social and economic development, including political work, strengthening of protection and security, and supporting economic growth in all areas.

The government will also raise standards of education and equip people with better life and work skills, especially in remote areas, and strive to alleviate poverty through the Three Builds directive.
Dr Sonexay said more will be done to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and rehabilitate areas affected by natural disasters. His full speech can be downloaded here.

The management of government programmes will be enhanced so that goals are achieved in ways that are efficient and effective.

Businesses will be encouraged to cooperate with those in neighbouring countries and form development partnerships.
The government’s overall priority is to rebuild the economy step by step, and support growth, the prime minister said.

In 2023 the government is targeting GDP growth of 4.5 percent, per capita income of US$1,625, and per capita GNI of US$1,534.

Other targets are the agriculture production of 7.47 million tonnes for commercial purposes, electricity generation of 51,134 million kWh worth 41,321 billion kip, and the value of mined products to reach 19.795 billion kip.

A target of 12,754 tonnes of goods transported by land, river, air and rail has also been set, while tourism authorities hope to attract 1,400,000 visitors to Laos, generating revenue of US$340 million.

Total revenue is targeted at 38,448 billion kip and budget expenditure is set at 43,498 billion kip.

The government will also try to rein in inflation to a rate that is below 9 percent by the end of the year.