Action Plan on E-Commerce law in Lao PDR

The Project at A Glance

E-trade is a growing phenomenon both globally as well as in the ASEAN region. It has the potential to lower the costs of trade for exporters in Lao PDR and reduce prices for consumers. The efficient use of e-commerce can reduce costs particularly for SMEs that often face the greatest challenges in participating in trade. However, constraints in the e-commerce environment in Lao PDR mean low levels of participation in electronic cross border trade.
International Economics, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) of Lao PDR, developed an Action Plan on drafting and adopting a dedicated e-Commerce law in Lao PDR to improve the local e-commerce business environment.

What We Found

The project comprised the second phase of the Regional Economic Integration of Laos into ASEAN, Trade and Entrepreneurship Development (RELATED) project, which aimed to improve the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)-related policy framework conditions and the capacities of the business sector for sustainably using economic potentials arising from Laos’ integration into the AEC.
The legal and regulatory framework in Lao PDR pertaining to e-commerce contained some basic elements necessary to support greater participation in e-trade but required strengthening by elaboration of a dedicated e-commerce law. In this context, several areas should be strengthened, including the protection of rights of consumers participating in electronic trade, the facilitation of e-payments, data privacy, taxation, electronic signature and the compliance with the AEC Blueprint 2025 and the e-ASEAN framework.

Our Strategy and Impact

In view of drafting the commerce law for Lao PDR, our work included:

  • A desk review of the Electronic Trade Landscape in Lao PDR inclusive of a comprehensive stakeholder assessment;
  • Onsite 2-dayfield visit to discuss and exchange on the roles of all relevant actors who may have a stake on drafting the potential e-commerce law and validating the content of the e-trade readiness report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; and
  • A one-day workshop with the designated actors recommended by the MoIC to discuss on the findings and exchange views on each ministries’ roles and stake in e-commerce law and National Strategic E-Commerce Development Plan from 2020-2025.

Our Core Solutions

Laos needs to provide a sound e-commerce business environment within the country, alongside catering the necessary infrastructure and gradually create an e-commerce savvy population. At International Economics, we provide strategic advice and solutions to governments and businesses on e-commerce and digital trade.

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