The import and export department hopes that the inauguration of an online trade website focusing on Lao goods will enable facilitation of online and offline businesses as well as improve the nation’s investment climate.
The website was created via a loan of US$562,000 from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of government efforts to promote SMEs in Laos alongside the theme of ‘Enhance SME Access to Asian Market through E-commerce Platform’.
The website was officially launched yesterday, witnessed by Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Bounmy Manivong along with other guests from line ministries and business sectors.
The e-commerce portal is in Lao and English and provides information about products and producers.
Information on trade agreements, workshops on business and other important activities are also available on the website.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Bounmy said the website would be a trading platform for entrepreneurs in Laos to introduce their products to the wider markets of Asean and its trading partners.
“I believe that this e-commerce platform will provide more opportunities and environments for SMEs to access domestic and international markets,” Bounmy said.
“I’m confident that the website will be a promotional channel for Lao businesses and they will learn more about the benefits of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
”This would help to boost the rapid growth in revenue generation for SMEs accordingly, he said.He also pointed out that many countries are now trying to increase the benefits from FTAs.
The government also aims to create opportunities for Lao enterprises to present their products to the markets of Asean, the Plus Three partners and beyond.
“This is the first step to increase Lao SMEs’ understanding of how FTAs are relevant to them and also helps companies to find business partners and connect with other buyers and sellers,” Bounmy said.
Executive Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) Mr Daovone Phachanthavong said the e-commerce platform would promote the products and services of entrepreneurs and increase access to online trade services.
“This website will be an important tool for LNCCI, especially for the SME Service Centre, promoting SME products on the e-commerce platform,” he said.
As of today, 82 companies have registered with the portal for online trading purposes with a range of more than 300 products and services.