Australia is supporting the Government of Laos’ trade facilitation and integration agenda to improve private enterprise opportunities and contribute to incomes and employment generation. Australia is helping the Lao Government to simplify and improve the transparency of regulation for business, including establishment of an electronic trade portal which will publish in one place all import and export related laws, regulations and procedures. Australia is also assisting Lao businesses develop growth plans, including those owned and managed by female entrepreneurs. Australia will lift the proportion of the aid program devoted to trade and business environment reform over the life of our aid investment plan.
Second Trade Development Facility
$5 million, 2013-2017
Australia is supporting Laos to sustain poverty reduction and economic growth through trade and integration with the regional and global economies. Australia’s contributions to the Second Trade Development Facility (TDFII) – a World Bank-led multi-donor trust fund – support:
- Trade facilitation, trade policy, and regulations: TDFII consists of a number of inter-related activities aimed at improving transparency, predictability and lowering associated compliance costs for traders. Activities will focus primarily on improving inter-agency coordination and supporting the adoption of modern risk based approaches to managing regulatory compliance in non-customs agencies, including reform of non-tariff measures.
- Diversification and competitiveness: TDFII includes activities aiming to improve private sector productivity and capacity to compete in international markets, focusing on the non-natural resources sectors (in particular outside of mining and hydropower). Activities will facilitate the more effective participation of small and medium sized enterprises in the economy, enhance skills and labour standards in the manufacturing sector and support women's economic empowerment.
- Mainstreaming aid for trade: TDFII will further strengthen Lao PDR's 'aid-for-trade' governance framework. This will involve strengthening a national aid-for-trade coordination unit and supporting smaller-scale demand-driven trade reform activities across the government.