The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) on 5 July launched the Lao Provincial Facilitation of Investment and Trade Index (ProFIT), which rates economic governance at the provincial level according to feedback from the country's small and medium enterprises.
Lao People's Democratic Republic Deputy Minister for Industry and Commerce Somchit Inthamith, the LNCCI president Oudeth Souvannavong, Deputy Head of Mission Andreas Zurbrugg of the Australian Embassy in the Lao PDR, and about 200 participants from the government, private sector, and development partners attended the launch. The initiative is supported by the Mekong Business Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Australia and the Asian Development Bank. The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry provided technical inputs, having published a similar index for the last 14 years.
ProFIT rates economic governance in 17 provinces. It considers six areas of importance to business:
- starting a business;
- transparency and access to information;
- regulatory burden;
- informal charges;
- consistency of policy implementation; and
- business friendliness.
Download the report in English and Lao on the Mekong Business Intitiative website.