2 Feb 2018
Regulatory Environment in Laos
Laos’ Constitution of 1991 ensured a leading role for its one political party, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), and established the National Assembly, whose members are elected by universal suffrage. The Constitution sets out the separation of power as follows:
- Executive – the President, elected by the National Assembly, is the de jure and de facto Head of State. The President, with the approval of the National Assembly, appoints the Prime Minister (who acts as Head of government) along with the Council of Ministers for a five-year term (last appointments in 2016).
- Legislative – the National Assembly is the unicameral parliament of Laos and members are elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term (last elections were held in 2016). The National Assembly approves all new laws set by the Executive.
- Judiciary – The President of the People's Supreme Court is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee. The Vice President of the People's Supreme Court and the judges are appointed by the National Assembly Standing Committee.
Laws and regulations in Laos are not always easily accessible or translated into English, and overlapping across various regulations is common. The main legislative frameworks relevant for Hong Kong companies setting up in Laos are:
- Tax Law (2005) [amended in 2016]
- Regulatory Environment
- Establishing a Presence
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Staff Recruitment
- Tax Considerations
- Import/Export Procedures
- Further Information