|A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT|
It’s been another busy month here at AustCham, with the month’s highlight being the sensational Sundowner evening put on by our Gold Sponsor Phu Bia Mining at the Lao German technical college, showcasing their wonderful apprenticeship scheme. It was really well attended, and a wonderful networking opportunity with the opportunity to mix with so many attendees.
The mood of that event was in sharp contrast to what has been a difficult month with fuel shortages, rampant inflation, and continuing softness of the kip against both the dollar and Thai baht. Early June has seen a great deal of discussion and reviews by many senior government departments and financial institutions, which let’s hope result in some quick actions to stabilise the kip, bolster foreign exchange reserves and suppress inflation.
On a more positive note it was great to watch the first game of the NRL State of Origin, despite a disappointing loss for NSW. However I look forward to watching Game II at the Crowne Plaza, organised by AustCham. It is sure to be a great night and I look forward to seeing you there!
Finally it’s with great sadness we had to say farewell to our treasurer Marion Rimaniol, who is moving back to France. Luckily we are able to welcome a great replacement in Sheng Lee, the new boss of ANZ Laos, who has kindly agreed to replace Marion as treasurer. It’s always good to have a banker looking after your finances!
|A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR|
It has been another busy month for AustCham, and a busy month for me as well. I have been out representing AustCham at a number of events including the UNDP LGBTQI+ Non-Discrimination Dialogue, the MoIC Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update, the launch of the World Bank Country Economic Memorandum, and the Lao EV Forum where I met Wayne McIntosh and Biju Narayanan from RMA Group, an AustCham Silver Sponsor.
I have also had meetings with representatives from the LNCCI and the Lao Business Forum. These have been very productive meetings where AustCham has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the Lao Business Forum and its leading role in the Financial Sector Working Group.
Of course the highlight of the last month was the hugely successful Sundowner, hosted by AustCham Gold Sponsor Phu Bia Mining. This was a great event and well attended by members and non-members alike. You can read more about the event below.
On a personal note, it is a challenging time for many people. The petrol shortage, the devaluation of the kip, and high inflation is putting significant pressure on a number of people and many of our Lao colleagues are feeling these stresses the most. During these challenging times I would encourage you all to be understanding of business, especially those who rely on imports, who are forced to raise prices to deal with these mounting pressures.
|NEW TREASURER FOR AUSTCHAM LAO|
It is with great sadness that we say farewell to AustCham Treasurer Marion Rimaniol, as she is moving back to France. In her time at AustCham she did an incredible job during a very difficult period for the chamber. We thank her for all her hard work as treasurer and wish her all the best.
The Board of Directors of AustCham Lao have formally appointed Sheng Lee, the new Country Head of ANZ to the role of Treasurer. As well as his extensive work with ANZ, Sheng also held roles on boards including Treasurer of the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Director and Treasurer of the Tourism Marketing and Destination Fund (TMDF) and the Bankers Association of Vanuatu (BAV).
|PAST MATE TO MATE INTERVIEWS|
Watch last month's episodes of MATE to MATE, AustCham's topical interview series.
Mate to Mate 'A Diverse Workplace' with Oudthasack Phiousila, Assistant HR Manager from Crowne Plaza Vientiane. We hear from him about what strategies Crowne Plaza is putting in place to promote a diverse and more inclusive workplace.
Click on "read more" to play the interview!
|First Aid and CPR Training|
|In Lao Language|
| Jun 23, 2022|
(8:30 AM - 4:30 PM)
The Makerbox Lao
Vientiane Capital, Laos
First Aid is an essential skill that can save lives. Knowing how to respond to an emergency quickly and confidently can be the difference between life and death. First Aid training is also a requirement for many businesses, whether they are remote or office based. Having a first aid certificate can also help job seekers stand out from the crowd, and demonstrates an ongoing commitment to professional development and workplace safety.
Every business should have at least one trained first aid officer with the training, skills, and confidence to provide immediate care in the event of an emergency. In partnership with FAS, AustCham will offer a one-day training courses in Lao language.
- Introduction to First Aid
- Casualty Management
- Scenario practice
The course aims to:
- Teach or improve an understanding of the basics of first aid
- Teach or improve practical skills for first aid
- Give participants the skills and confidence to respond to emergency situations
Note: The class will have a maximum of 20 participants
|State of Origin - Game II|
| Jun 26, 2022|
(4:30 PM - 7:30 PM)
Crowne Plaza Vienti...
Vientiane, Vientiane Pr...
Mate against mate - state against state! AustCham Lao is pleased to announce that we will host an event to view Game II of the NRL State of Origin on June 26th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. This three game series is the highlight of the Rugby League calendar, and not to be missed!
We will have a massive screen broadcasting the game live from Optus Stadium in Perth, WA and the Crowne Plaza will be serving beer and wine throughout the game, with a selection of their finest finger food.
Kick off is at 4:50pm local time, and beer starts flowing from 4:30pm during the pre-game show. Get down to the Crowne on Sunday the 26th of June, for the greatest game on earth, and the fiercest sporting rivalry in Australia.
|JUNE SUNDOWNER - SPONSORED BY PHU BIA MINING|
Last week AustCham Lao organised a Sundowner, hosted by AustCham Gold Sponsor, Phu Bia Mining.
The event showcased the partnership between Phu Bia Mining and the Lao German Technical College which is an integral part of their commitment to developing and training Lao-national employees to improve their skills and competencies. Established in 2013 in partnership with the Lao-German Technical College, the Company's Apprenticeship Program is considered a beacon of this commitment. The program offers trades training in automotive electrical, heavy vehicle plant mechanical, metal fabrication and welding, fitting and machining, and electrical.
The students were able to showcase their developing skills, demonstrating their skills and knowledge to our members and guests. It was a fantastic evening and we thank all of you who attended. We would also like to thank Sticky Fingers and LBC Fine Wines for catering the event, ensuring its success.
We look forward to welcoming you to our next Sundowner, which will be announced shortly.
Gold Sponsor ANZ donated 8 laptops to Women Disability Association in Vientiane on 31t May 2022.
On 31 May 2022, ANZ Laos represented by Sheng Lee, CEO of ANZ Bank Laos and the CSR team visited the Women Disability Association in Vientiane and donated eight used computer laptops from ANZ’s operations department to support the computer class for disabled students in the centre.
Madam Chanhpheng SIVILA, Director of Women Disability Association said “I am very happy that ANZ is continuing to support us with the learning and teaching equipment that currently in our need, the donated laptops will help our talented disabled students to accomplish their skills on computer science. As a result, they could have the opportunity to get a job and establish a brighter future.”
Bounnaly Sichampa, Computer Literacy trainer of WDA said: “We have been struggling in using the old PC model to adapt to new applications. Sometimes, with the limit number of PCs, students normally shared computers together during the class. I am glad that we received your support at such a right time to support our training to be more effective.”
ANZ has a strong focus on Purpose, with an aspiration to ‘shape a world where people and communities thrive’. In Laos, ANZ operates a number of CSR campaigns and activities related to diversity and inclusion, environmental sustainability, capacity-building, volunteering and financial literacy, including their flagship “MoneyMinded” program: www.anz.com/moneyminded.
1 June 2021: Gold Sponsor ANZ Laos held a client webinar titled “Navigating A Challenging Global Economic Environment”.
The event was hosted by Sheng Lee, ANZ Laos’ new Country Head, together with Nanthala Salichanh, ANZ’s Head of Markets for Laos and Myanmar and Khoon Goh, ANZ’s Head of Asia Research.
Key highlights are:
- Inflation is a major concern for households and governments all around the world. Policymakers are taking steps to address it, which includes raising interest rates.
- Despite external headwinds, the re-opening of borders across Southeast Asia and easing of COVID-19 restrictions will help support economic activity in 2022. Mobility has improved to pre-pandemic levels across ASEAN, which has seen domestic demand improve.
- Inflation in Laos is set to rise further due to elevated global energy and commodity prices, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This is compounded by the depreciation in the kip. ANZ Research forecast inflation in Lao to average 6.8% in 2022, up from 3.8% in 2021.
|MILSEARCH SIGNED A NEW CONTRACT WITH CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES (CRS)|
Milsearch, an AustCham Silver Sponsor, is proud to announce that it signed a new contract with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to provide Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) contamination services in support of the Learning and Engaging All in Primary School (LEAPS II) project funded by the US Department of Agriculture. For the LEAPS II project, CRS partners with the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports to support improved education, health, and nutrition in 348 schools in Savannakhet province.
Acting as a commercial contractor, Milsearch has been associated with the LEAPS II project since 2018 providing services for the project’s latrine and borehole construction. Operating on a much-reduced margin, Milsearch considers contracts of this nature as a great opportunity to give back.
This image shows the Milsearch Team supporting the school water well drilling program. Drilling is conducted in increments and a magnetometer is lowered down the borehole between each increment to confirm the absence of deep buried Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and ensure drilling contractor safety.
Jaguar Land Rover Laos launched the New Range Rover Evoque, the luxury compact SUV, on Friday 13th April 2022 at Lao Ford Pakse, Champasak Province.
This event aims to officially launch the New Range Rover Evoque to show the luxury compact SUV for Pakse customers. This will allow customers to experience our New Range Rover Evoque and get the details of this attractive vehicle.
The Range Rover Evoque is a fully functional compact SUV, with cutting-edge technology and ease of use that enhances your perfect driving to a new level. The New Range Rover Evoque launch event in Champasak has impressed customers with luxurious design, modern technology, and the capability of driving. This event was very successful, with good feedback from customers and a lot of customers reserving a Range Rover Evoque for a test drive.
Our Silver Sponsor Prudential is making insurance more accessible and inclusive by broadening the concept of family, allowing health and protection solutions to cover different types of family.
Insurance policies today tend to be designed around the nuclear family, recognizing only the spouse and children as financial dependents. There is an opportunity to meet the protection needs of more diverse types of families such as single parents, cohabitants or adopted children. Additionally, coverage can also be offered to extended family members such as grandparents, parents-in-law as well as nieces and nephews.
For more information of “Made For Every Family”, please refer to
We Do Family | Prudential Laos
'Give your project every chance to succeed' - Our Silver Sponsor BFL proudly launched last week our "BFL Kaona" training series, aiming to provide MSMEs in Laos the opportunity to gain financial knowledge as well as assessing their own business financial situation.
Attendees, from various sectors of activity, had the chance to work on their respective project and business plan, accompanied by experienced trainer and BFL team, facilitating subsequently their access to finance.
BFL were glad to have make this first session happens and they are convinced of its positive impact on the participants, for them to run their business ahead successfully.
If you wish to attend future sessions, please stay tuned by following BFL Facebook page: BFL BRED Group
In recognition of the fact that mediation is rapidly becoming an efficient and cost-effective means of resolving disputes in Southeast Asia, DFDL and Harry Elias are pleased to provide the first-ever comparative review of mediation practices across the region.
The inaugural edition of FAQ on Mediation in Southeast Asia is an essential guide to the benefits and challenges of commercial, court-ordered and private-party mediation. The engaging Q&A format asks all the questions you have about this emerging trend, followed by sharp and insightful answers provided by DFDL and Harry Elias’ team of conflict-resolution experts.
As this review shows, mediation is taking root in each regional jurisdiction, providing a viable solution for parties to manage and resolve their disputes outside the conventional frameworks of litigation and as an alternative to arbitration.
Nishant Choudhary (Partner, Head of Regional Dispute Resolution Practice) said that: “This publication is the indispensable guide that managing directors and in-house counsels need to read to stay up-to-date with current and future mediation developments to ensure clear and successful navigation of the sector’s many challenges and pitfalls!”
This first-of-its-kind review takes a close look at the conflict-resolution mechanisms that exist in Southeast Asia and offers advice on how to navigate and utilize this exciting and developing procedure.
On 6th June 2022, the team from our Bronze Sponsor, Phongsavanh Insurance (APA) Co.,Ltd, donated blood at the National Blood Transfusion Center-Lao Red Cross. During the event the team give away “Personal Accident Insurance” and some small gifts for participants. We would like to express our gratitude to all participants for donating blood to help society together with us in this time.
“Personal Accident Insurance” which covers individuals 24/7 and reimburse medical costs caused by accidents, with a maximum coverage of up to LAK 5,000,000 for a one year period.
You can now donate blood and receive “Personal Accident Insurance” for the first 1,000 donors.
"Let’s Donate Blood Together" because Donate Blood = Saved Lives.
For more information, please contact us via 1677
Facebook page: Phongsavanh Insurance APA
Our Bronze Sponsor, Phongsavanh Insurance (APA), is happy to offer a special discount of 15% when buying SME insurance from Phongsavanh Insurance (APA) until the 30th of June 2022
As a business, we must be prepared to deal with many challenges and unexpected risks. To increase peace of mind Phongsavanh Insurance (APA) will be by your side to cover you business. We’ve designed The Small and Medium Enterprise Insurance to provide the comprehensive coverage for SME as following:
- Damage caused by fire, explosion.
- Damage caused by natural disaster such as: Lightning, Water Damage, Windstorm, Earthquake, Breakage of Glass.
- Electrical damage, Burglary and other benefits.
In addition, this SME insurance also provides business interruptions coverage i.e., we will compensate your income in case your business cannot operate as a result of such damages.
Most importantly, we also have sales tool that can issue instant real time quotation to our customers.
So, let Phongsavanh Insurance (APA) be a part to cover your SME.
For more information, please contact us via 1677
Facebook page: Phongsavanh Insurance APA
|BUSINESS AND ENVIROMENT INFORMATION|
Following postponement by the Ministry of Finance of the date for submission of the FY2021 annual financial statements (the “FS”), the deadline of 31 May 2022 set by Notice No. 933/MOF dated 31 March 2022 is fast approaching. Are you ready? Is your document checklist completed? Are you aware of the income tax rules on dividend distributions?
Below, AustCham member VDB Loi provides a brief summary of the process, document checklist, and income tax applicable on dividends distributable per the FS for your reference.
Depending on a company’s registration location, the FS will be submitted to the Accounting Authority or Department and the Tax Authority or Department simultaneously – there is no need to obtain a stamp from the Accounting Authority or Department before submitting it to the Tax Authority or Department.
On 6 April 2022, the Ministry of Energy and Mines issued Decision No. 674/MOEM on new licensing requirements for mining service activities in the Lao PDR.
Here is a brief summary provided by AustCham member, VDB Loi:
DEFINITION OF MINING SERVICE ACTIVITIES
Mining service activities are services relating to mineral exploration, surveying, map drafting, geophysical surveying, drilling, exploitation, transportation, analysis, mining consultancy, and other mining-related service activities.
MINING SERVICE ACTIVITY CATEGORIES
Mining service activities are divided into six categories:
- Mineral exploration and surveying
- Mineral drilling
- Mineral exploitation
- Geologic technical and consultancy services
- Mining technical and consultancy services
- Mineral analysis
CRITERIA FOR NEW APPLICANTS
The Decision provides certain criteria for applicants, such as their prior experience in the field, financial status, and staffing, among others.
APPLICATION AND DOCUMENTATION
The Decision specifies what must be included in the application that follows the lines of most licensing applications, such as corporate documents and company and management details.
According to the Decision, if the application is approved, the license will be issued within 30 days of the date of submission of a complete and accurate application dossier.
The departments to manage and inspect mining service activities are:
- Mine Management Department
- Geology and Mineral Department
If you have any questions about this alert or need help with applying for a mining service license, please contact your usual VDB Loi adviser.
As Laos positions itself for the next phase of its development, a new World Bank report explores how the country can take advantage of its strategic location and natural wealth, and rebalance the economy for more inclusive and sustained growth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lao PDR Country Economic Memorandum offers a reform agenda for development beyond the pandemic. This new analysis is to be launched through a panel discussion on the key challenges and opportunities that Laos faces in the years ahead, and the reforms that will be needed to ensure economic growth is sustainable and inclusive.
This report examines the reasons why Lao growth has not resulted in greater improvements to socio-economic conditions for most of the population. It discusses Laos' many advantages, and provides a set of policy recommendations for restoring macroeconomic stability, and leveraging strategic location and natural capital to improve the future for the country's young and growing population.