Foreign Trade, FDI, and Capital Flows Study

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A Comparative Overview of the Incidence of Non-Tariff Measures on Trade in Lao PDR

2016-02-29, World Bank Group

An efficient and transparent regulatory framework governing international trade is a necessary condition for countries to realize the benefits of international trade. Over the last decade, Lao PDR has been deepening its economic ties with the global economy through the formal accession to the WTO in 2013. At the regional level, the country is committed to be full member of the ASEAN Economic Community. These agreements entailed profound changes to Lao PDR’s regulatory framework governing international trade. This report provides an overview of the incidence on NTMs on import flows in Lao PDR before and after WTO accession and identifies lingering regulatory hurdles that may still hamper the ability of the country to reap the gains of a deeper integration. Employing detailed and comparable NTM information, this note characterizes the changes in the trade related regulatory framework in Lao PDR and compares the current scheme with that of other countries in Asia. The report also combines econometric estimations of Ad-Valorem Equivalents (AVEs) of NTMs with qualitative information collected through fieldwork to identify priority measure to streamline. This report is organized as follows. Section two discusses main conceptual issues and presents the data and metrics to examine the role of NTMs in import flows. Section three, describes the trade incidence of NTMs and compares it with similar countries and with the situation prior to WTO accession. Section four combines an econometric technique with qualitative information to discuss the stringency of NTMs. Section five presents some concluding remarks and provides some recommendation for reform.

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Services and Manufacturing Linkages: An Empirical Analysis for Lao PDR

2016-02, World Bank Group

This report seeks to shed light on the ways in which the services sector has contributed to Lao PDR’s competitiveness and integration into the global marketplace. It focuses on two complementary roles that the services sector plays: first, as an avenue for export diversification and growth and, second,by providing inputs into other productive sectors of the economy, such as the manufacturing sector. As economies grow, the importance of the services sector generally increases, but its role as an enabler of other sectors of the economy in moving up the value chain is frequently overlooked. However, the services sector is critical in raising competitiveness of these other sectors to boost growth and create better quality jobs. The main policy recommendations that emerge from this report are aimed at increasing competition in the services sector, reducing distortive regulations, and opening up the sector to foreign participation, building up skills, both at the individual and at the firm level, and investing in hard and soft infrastructure to promote the development of the sector.