Lao PDR – New Law on Investment Promotion Introduces Major Changes for Foreign Investors
The Law on Investment Promotion No. 14/ NA became effective in Laos on April 19, 2017, and replaces the Law on Investment Promotion No. 02/ NA, dated July 8, 2009. The new law aims to provide a more seamless process to facilitate domestic and international investments in Laos, and has therefore introduced a number of substantive changes: promoted sectors eligible for profit tax exemption ranging from 4 to 15 years have been comprehensively listed; joint ventures between stateowned enterprises and the private sector, as well as Public- Private Partnerships ( PPP), have been formalized within the Law; VAT and tariff exemptions for the importation of vehicles or raw materials that are not available in Laos are provided; minimum capital requirements for general business activities have been removed; and transfer/ remittance of funds to foreign investors is explicitly allowed. Investors with existing contractual terms under the previous investment law are now permitted to apply for benefits under the new law by submitting their proposals to relevant authorities within 120 days of enactment.