Public consultation meeting on draft decree on electronic commerce of the Lao PDR took place on 6th December 2019, at Landmark Hotel, Vientiane. The event was chaired by H.E. Bounmy Manivong, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce with more than 60 invited guests from public and private sectors. The primary purpose of this meeting was to publicly discuss the draft, in order to make its content more comprehensive. The draft is expected to be introduced at a government meeting in early 2020 after the draft finalized.
In the meeting, HE. Bounmy Manivong mentioned that in the globalization age of rapid digital transformation, both trades in goods and services were disrupted by digital transformation resulted in a new highly effective business model or so-called eCommerce. In theory, this business model can be an essential driver of economic growth in the complementary world since it can reduce the costs and barriers for small and medium businesses, including micro-enterprises, as to market access. Furthermore, consumers also obtain benefits by approaching more variety of goods and services at lower prices.
Along with the increasing number of a high rate of internet penetration, retailing business through electronic mean has mushroom emerged in the Lao market. There are a number of electronic marketplaces (eCommerce platform) and online vendors informally operating in Laos without proper legal status. On the first hand, it could negatively affect the public trust and confidence in eCommerce and on the second hand, without proper surveillance from the public sector, the legitimate interest of consumers could be jeopardized. Moreover, while the sector is growing, the regulation in this specific area has not been compressively put in place yet. Then, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in collaboration with Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication, Ministry of Sciences and Technology, Bank of Lao PDR, and other government agencies prepared this draft to fill the legal gab with core objectives to protect a legitimate rights of customer and provide a sound legal environment for Lao eCommerce to thrive, (said by HE Bounmy).
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