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Singapore Businesses See Opportunities in Laos

  • Proposes targeted approach to help SMEs across three situations: SMEs seeking growth, SMEs in survival mode and SMEs in sectors with special needs
  • Urges Government to allow more time for the restructuring process and not introduce any more measures that would exacerbate the already harsh conditions that SMEs are currently facing

20 February 2014 [Singapore] – Singapore Business Federation (SBF) organised a business seminar cum networking session today for a visiting Laotian business delegation, led by Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) Vice President Mr Oudet Souvannavong. This event was supported by International Enterprise Singapore.

The 52-member delegation is here in conjunction with the visit of Lao PDR (People’s Democratic Republic) Minister for Planning and Investment (MPI) Mr Somdy Douangdy. It comprises business leaders from sectors including construction, mining, infrastructure, real estate, tourism and hospitality, furniture, textile, food and beverages, electronics, agriculture and general trading.

Lao PDR joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in February 2013. Their GDP growth rate last year was estimated to be at 8.3%. Economic expansion is expected to be at 8.6% in 2014 and 2015, supported by strong growth in investment, particularly in infrastructure and export-oriented manufacturing.

Several transport infrastructure projects are planned or underway, which include a north-south railway system connecting Vientiane with China’s Yunnan province; a east-west railway line linking Thailand and Vietnam across southern Laos; and new bridges with Myanmar and Thailand.

Commenting on Laos’ unique cross-border land connectivity in Indochina, Dr Robert Yap, Vice Chairman of SBF and Chairman & CEO of YCH Group said “These projects equate to more business opportunities for our businesses, as Laos progresses to be a land-linked country connecting its neighbours – China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia together.”

Some 60 members of the Singapore business community benefited from presentations on the latest economic outlook of Laos, its investment climate and business opportunities in mainland Southeast Asia’s last untapped frontier market.

The networking session enabled Singapore and Laotian companies to explore business opportunities. It is also hoped that this event will spur Laotian companies to use Singapore for their global market outreach.

The event host was Crescendas Group, a leading Singapore-based multi-industry group with business interests in properties, hotels, building materials, logistics and distribution services, innovative and technological products, green energy and environmental friendly products. The event also had ANZ as the Banking Partner. ANZ operates the largest chain of foreign owned banking facilities in Indochina today.

Welcome Remarks by Dr Robert Yap

Remarks by Laos Minister Somdy

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