Updated: 30 August 2012
|New issue published
on Monday weekly (since 18 June 2012)
Where important business, financial and economic events, matters and
thoughts are gathered and presented in a time-saving fashion.
Inside the Lao Business & Finance Now:
- Brief Update: Updating important business,
financial and economic events gathered
from many places in a way to save readers
time and money.
- Economist's View (quarterly): Presenting
analytical view points, from an economist's
angle, on issues important for the business
community and society.
- The Market in Figures and The Market in
Numbers: Monitoring, in graphs and
numbers, changes in the money, financial,
stock and key consumer markets in Laos
and in key commodities traded in global
- The World Pulse Barometer (quarterly):
Tracking global price trends for food, fuel
and industrial necessities.
Intergro's weekly business letter for people who never stop upgrading!
Brief UPDATEweekly starting 18 June 2012
A smarter corporate income tax policy for Laos is one that implements a permanently low tax rate.
Instituting a substantially lower corporate income tax rate than what is currently in place will attract
more foreign investments in sectors crucial for growth in the diversified, non-natural-resource-based
SMEs particularly in agro-processing, manufacturing and knowledge-based SMEs. These are the
missing links in the Lao economy that are urgently needed right now—to stimulate a diversified
growth, improve the agricultural sector, create long term jobs and distribute incomes more widely in
Why, how, and will lower tax lead to government revenue loss?
To read the entire 2-page commentary, download the LBFNow March 2012 issue
This commentary is abstracted from an article titled “Laos to benefit more from lower tax.” Read the
entire (8-page) article at http://www.intergro-inc.com/articles.html.
Myanmar's 2010 election, which formally marks the beginning of the military-run SE Asian country's
political transformation, did not at all impress the world. However, this has all changed, particularly
since April this year. Myanmar has finally impressed the world, in a surprising way, after its elected
President Thein Sein, who was an army general, freed political prisoners, made peace with ethnic
minority groups, eased media restrictions, and persuaded main opposition figure Aung San Suu Kyi to
participate in the parliament.
Myanmar, a country of 50 million people, is rich with oil, natural gas, timber, gemstones, and minerals.
Being a next door neighbor of Asian two giants China and India that are experiencing rapid economic
growth is not a bad thing. Not only that Myanmar can benefit from the two growing giants in terms of
investment sources and markets, the fact that Myanmar is surrounded by these giants, one in the
north, another in the West (and the dynamic Thailand in the east), is itself a factor of attraction for
foreign direct investment (FDI) from other parts of the world.
Key donor countries have eased or suspended trade restrictions and considering resuming aids to
the country. In late April, the 27-nation bloc European Union has voted to temporarily suspend (for
one year) a wide range of trade, economic and individual sanctions against Myanmar, but leaving
arms embargo in place. Australia said it would lift financial and travel restrictions on 260 people and
normalize trade ties. The United States is considering restoring a full diplomatic relation and resuming
aids to the country.
Japan will forgive Myanmar 300 billion yen ($US3.7 billion) of the country’s previous development
loans and resume development aid to support the country’s democratic and economic reforms. This
was announced after a meeting between Japan’s PM Mr. Yoshihiko Noda and Myanmar’s President
Thein Sein following a summit with leaders of Mekong countries—Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar,
Thailand and Vietnam. Myanmar’s total development loans with Japan stood at 500 billion yen. During
its years of isolation, Japan, unlike its Western allies, maintained trade ties and dialogue with
Myanmar, fearing that the then-ruling junta could push the country closer to China.
Myanmar also owes the World Bank $393 million and about $500 million debts in arrears with the
Asian Development Bank, according to the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific region Vice President
Pamela Cox. The Bank stopped lending to the country in 1987 and closed its office there after the
country stopped making loan payments. However, the World Bank has announced in late April that it
will re-open its office in Myanmar in June this year.
Myanmar's recent political transformation, which has encouraged major world powers to ease or
suspend trade sanctions, has opened the country for trade and FDIs, turning it towards becoming an
emerging frontier market. In fact, the resource-rich Myanmar has recently drawn considerable interest
of both regional and global investors. Although there is a sign of broad consensus among Myanmar's
political elites about the need for continued structural reforms, mitigating a political risk, the weight of
political stability variable will still remain high in the investment equation for several years for many
types of businesses. Nonetheless, the resource-based sectors, infrastructure and tourism will be
among the first to attract FDIs.
A smarter tax policy for Laos
by Mana Southichack
An emerging frontier market?
by Mana Southichack
Briefs in 27 August 2012 issue
- Appreciating kip: Winners and losers
- Lao financial infrastructure grows and
access to financial services improves
- Government orders 24 entertainment
venues in Vang Vieng to shutdown
- Vietnam National Cement Corp –Bim Son
Cement wants to open a cement factory in
- BCEL expects a net profit of about $23
million this year
- A new shopping mall opens for business in
Briefs in 20 August 2012 issue
- Stronger kip is a double-edged sword
- Inflation subsides
- A $2 million battery factory in Savannakhet
expects to complete later this year
- Laos-Thailand to expand bus services
between the two countries
- Asean becoming world's 6th largest
Briefs in 6 August 2012 issue
- Government urged to revise profits tax to
boost foreign investment
- EDL Gen raises $200 million in second
- More than $329 million of loans released by
commercial banks in south
- Laos-South Korea joint venture to produce
- Tourism on the rise in Attapeu
- Thai SMEs told to gear up for fight as AEC
- CIMB Thai plans for operations in Laos
Briefs in 30 July 2012 issue
- Laos to become WTO member this year
- Phongsavanh Bank reports rapid growth
over its five years of establishment
- More electricity from small-scale dams by
2014 coming from Paksong
- Boten international transit warehouse to be
ready for service early in 2013
- Cambodia wants more Thai investment
- Thai rice losing on world market
Tables and figures
- Commodity prices
- Lao domestic consumer & other
- SE Asia and Other Major Stocks
- Exchange rates