Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in Lao PDR

What has been done:

The enabling environment for sustainable enterprises in Lao PDR was assessed through a careful review of secondary data, findings from a large national enterprise survey undertaken in Lao PDR, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with relevant stakeholders, and supplementary information from published and unpublished materials. The assessment produced a detailed identification of barriers that discourage investment, entrepreneurship, job creation and firm competitiveness.

In line with its mandate to contribute to the development of a conducive environment for enterprises in Lao PDR , the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) has called upon the ILO to assist the organisation to assess the current business environment in the country and to identify areas for improvement.  The information gathered through the assessment enables ILO constituents to identify priorities for the promotion of sustainable enterprises and the transition to formality. For LNCCI, the analysis of the enabling environment provides an entry points for the development of policy positions and structured and evidence-based advocacy efforts.

The Survey and its sample:

The EESE Enterprise Survey of Lao PDR was conducted nationwide in 2014, with the aim of identifying and assessing business environment factors that affect business development and job creation in the country. The survey was conducted to investigate 17 key factors that affect the business environment. To undertake this work, the survey established sampling frames for formal businesses.The survey which comprised  in-depth interviews with a total of 404 enterprises. These businesses were located in the four major provinces of Vientiane Capital, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champasak. The breakdown of the sample, in terms of location, firm size and industry, broadly reflects the number and type of firms operating in these locations. Nearly half of the participating firms are located in Vientiane, with the remaining firms split fairly evenly between Savannakhet, Luang Prabang and Champasak. Regarding size, more than three quarters of the sample are small enterprises (1-19 employees), with most of the remaining enterprises being medium-sized (20-99 employees). Around 5 per cent of the sample is made up of large enterprises that employ 100 or more persons.