Official Website
Lao Services
Portal
Register | Login

Services by Sector: Business Services

 

A. OVERVIEW OF BUSINESS SERVICES IN LAO PDR

Background Information

The Business Services Sector comprises and interplays with a suite of other services sectors. As such, the multiplier effect of this sector can be quite large and therefore positively influences commercial activity, generates employment opportunities, promotes economic growth and creates an enabling environment for sustainable development.  Recognising the importance of this economic to overall growth and development, the Lao PDR has committed to the liberalisation of this sector in an effort to attract greater investment and assist service providers in augmenting their competitiveness and developing the local private sector.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Classification for this services sector encompasses:

  • Professional Services;
  • Computer & Related services;
  • Research & Development services;
  • Real Estate services;
  • Rental/Leasing Services without Operators; and
  • Other business services, such as services incidental to other sectors such as fishing and mining; market research and public opinion polling services; advertising and management consulting among others.

Professional services is quite broad and in the context of the Lao PDR refers to:

  • Legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR
  • Legal documentation and certification services of the laws of Lao PDR
  • Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services
  • Taxation consulting services
  • Architectural services
  • Engineering services
  • Integrated engineering services
  • Urban planning and landscape architectural services

These various sectors represent pivotal pillars of modern economies. Lao PDR represents one of the fastest growing economies in the East Asian and Pacific Regions. In 2015, Lao PDR grew by 7% and expanded by 6.8% in 2016.[1]  With such a growing economy, the Government of Lao PDR, must continue embarking on steps to create an enabling environment to strengthen its business services sectors.

As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and WTO, Lao PDR has made and continues to make significant strides to integrate into the regional and international economic frameworks and therefore place great priority on this services sector given the immense socio-economic benefits to be derived from the sub-sectors thereof.

B. KEY IMPERATIVES AND INFORMATION FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS AND INVESTORS

I.          Legal and Regulatory Environment of the Business Services Sector

The legal and regulatory framework governing any sector is hinged on the explicit empowerment of government agencies and other institutions to provide oversight, regulate and monitor the sector in pursuit of social and economic stability and/or financial gain, cultural preservation, environmental conservation, economic generation and overall growth and development.

Within the Lao PDR, there are various facets of such a framework, which collectively provide oversight for the business services sector.  Given the multiplicity of sub-sectors and industries under this umbrella sector, there are several interrelated laws and regulatory institutions, which jointly work toward the regulation of this sector.

These are discussed in respect of each sub sector.

II.         Regulatory Entities governing the Business Services Sector

As noted above, Professional services represent one of the major sub-sectors under the business services sector. There are further several services which comprise the Professional services, as above outlined. The relevant regulatory entities for each sub sector are outlined below.

  1. Professional Services
  2. Legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR
  • Lao PDR Bar Association
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • The Department of Justice at provincial, city levels
  • The Justice Office at district and municipal levels
  1. Legal documentation and certification services of the laws of Lao PDR
  • Lao PDR Bar Association
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • The Department of Justice at provincial, city levels
  • The Justice Office at district and municipal levels
  1. Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Industry and Commerce
  1. Taxation consulting services
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Tax department – Central Level
  • Provincial Level
  • Tax units – District Level
  • Finance Audit Department
  1. Engineering services
  • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport
  1. Integrated engineering services
  • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport
  1. Urban planning and landscape architectural services
  • The Ministry of Public Works and Transport
  • Department of Housing and Urban Planning 
  1. Computer & Related services
  • Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
  • Provincial Departments of Science and Technology
  • District and Municipal Offices of Science and Technology
  • Village Units of Science and Technology
  1. Research & Development services
  • Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
  • Ministry of Education and Sports
  1. Real Estate services
  • Department of Housing and Urban Planning 
  • Ministry of Public Works and Transport
  1. Rental/Leasing Services without Operators
  • Department of Housing and Urban Planning 
  1. Other business services, such as services incidental to other sectors such as fishing and mining; market research and public opinion polling services; advertising and management consulting among others
  • Anti-Money Laundering Information Office
  • Ministry of Energy and Mines

III.        Business Services Sector Associations

Key Associations governing the Business Services Sector include:

  • Lao PDR Chamber of Accountants and Independent Auditors
  • Accounting Council
  • Association of Lao Architects and Civil Engineers
  • ASEAN Engineering Association
  • Lao PDR Bar Association
  • Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry

IV.       Legislation governing the Business Services Sector

Relevant laws, which impact the Business Services Sector include:

SUB-SECTORS

PRIMARY LEGISLATION

SECONDARY LEGISLATION

Decrees

Decisions

Instructions

Regulations

Other

Professional Services

Legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR

 

Law on Lawyers  No 010/NA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services

 

Accounting Law No 01/NA

Instruction on the Implementation of the Accounting Law  531/MOF

Regulation on Accounting & Auditing in Securities Activities 001/LSC

Instruction

on Accounting for Commercial Banks and Financial Institutions

relating to Securities Transaction 207/AFD

Law on Independent Audit No 51/NA

 

 

 

 

 

Taxation consulting services

 

Tax Law No.05/NA

Decree on the Tax Identification Number No. 354/ PM

 

Ministerial Instruction on Tax Revenue Collection Management No. 3281/MoF

 

Presidential Ordinance on Profit Tax and Fees for Business Operation on Securities No 001/PO

Law on Value Added Tax (Amended) No. 52/NA

 

Urban planning and landscape architectural services

 

 

Urban Planning Law No. 03/99/NA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Professional Business Services

Computer & Related services

 

Electronic Transaction Law No 20/NA

 

 

 

 

 

Research & Development services

 

Law on Intellectual Property (Amended) No 01/NA

Decree on Patent and Industrial Design No 01/PM

 

 

 

 

Law on Science and Technology No 30/NA

Other business services, such as services incidental to other sectors such as fishing and mining; market research and public opinion polling services; advertising and management consulting among others.

 

 

 

Decision  on Environmental Technical Services No 0345/MNRE

 

 

 


 

Lao PDR Commitments in Business Services under Regional and International Agreements

  • WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services
  • ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (9th Package of Commitments)
  • ASEAN – Australia/New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
  • ASEAN Agreement on the Movement of Natural Persons
  • ASEAN – China Free Trade Agreement on Trade in Services
  • ASEAN – India Agreement on Trade in Services

WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services

Under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, the following business services are covered:

  • Professional Services
  • Computer and Related Services
  • Research and Development
  • Other Business Services

Professional services are further broken down to include:

  • Legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR; and legal documentation and certification services of the laws of Lao PDR (part of CPC 861)
  • Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862)
  • Taxation consulting services (part of CPC 863)
  • Architectural services (CPC 8671)
  • Engineering services (CPC 8672)
  • Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673)
  • Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674)

For legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR; and legal documentation and certification services of the laws of Lao PDR (part of CPC 861), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2, cross border supply of services and consumption abroad respectively. In relation to providing these services under mode 3, establishment of a commercial presence, Lao PDR limits market access by requiring foreign equity participation to be limited to 49%. In respect of mode 4, movement of natural persons, Lao PDR is unbound in relation to market access, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

In providing legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR; and legal documentation and certification services of the laws of Lao PDR (part of CPC 861), no limitations were placed on modes 1 and 2, cross border supply and consumption abroad.  In relation to mode 3, Lao PDR is unbound, whereas in relation to mode 4, Lao PDR is also unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862) are also covered on the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services. In providing these services, Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access in relation to modes 1 and 2. Specific to mode 3, establishment of commercial presence, Lao PDR is unbound for 7 years after the date

of accession. Thereafter, a joint venture with a Lao PDR national accountant who is a full member of the Lao Institute of Certified Public

Accountants (LICPA) is required. Lao PDR is unbound in relation to providing these services under mode 4, in relation to market access.

In respect of providing accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment in relation to modes 1 and 2, cross border supply and consumption abroad. For mode 3, the majority of directors must be certified accountants who are Lao nationals; this is the limitation placed on national treatment. In respect of mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound in relation to mode 4.

For taxation consulting services (part of CPC 863), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1, 2 and 3. For mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section. In respect of limitations on national treatment, similar to the market access section, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment for modes 1, 2 and 3, while for mode 4, it is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

For Architectural services (CPC 8671), Engineering services (CPC 8672) , Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673) and Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674), Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, Lao requires that for 5 years after accession, foreign equity participation should be limited to 51%; thereafter, there will be no limitation on market access. In respect of mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the  horizontal section.

In relation to national treatment, Lao PDR limits the provision of architectural services in relation to modes 1 and 2, by stipulating that the service must be authenticated by an architect or engineer who has appropriate practicing certificate working in a juridical entity established in Lao PDR. In respect of mode 3, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment, but is however unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section for mode 4.

In relation to Computer and Related Services (CPC 84), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1, 2 and 3. Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section for mode 4.  In relation to limitations on national treatment, the same as stipulated in the market access section applies.

In providing R&D services on natural sciences (CPC 851), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. In relation to providing services under mode 3, Lao PDR limits Foreign equity participation to 51%.  Specific to providing services under mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section. In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on providing these services under modes 1, 2 and 3. In relation to mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

Other Business Services comprise

  • Advertising services: - Planning, creating and placement services of advertising (CPC 87120)
  • Market research services (CPC 86401); and
  • Management consulting services (CPC 865)

For Advertising services: - Planning, creating and placement services of advertising (CPC 87120), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access in respect of modes 1 and 2. Specific to mode 3, Lao limits foreign equity participation to 49%. In relation to providing these services under mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.  Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2 and is unbound for mode 3. In relation to mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section.

In relation to providing market research services (CPC 86401), Lao PDR placed no limitations on both market access and national treatment in providing these services under modes 1, 2 and 3.  Specific to mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section; this applies both to limitations on market access and national treatment.

Specific to providing management consulting services (CPC 865), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. Specific to mode 3, Lao PDR limits market access stipulating that for 3 years after accession, foreign equity participation is limited to 51%, but thereafter none applies. In relation to mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

In relation to national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations in respect of modes 1, 2 and 3. For mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

As it relates to providing technical testing and analysis services (CPC 8676), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access in respect of modes 1 and 2. For mode 3, Lao PDR limits access by stipulating that foreign equity participation be 51%. After 5 years from the date of accession, foreign equity participation will be limited to 70%. For mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section. Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2 in relation to national treatment. Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment for modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, Lao requires that the majority of directors must be engineers who are Lao PDR nationals. For mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

As it relates to services incidental to mining (CPC 5115), in respect of market access, Lao PDR is unbound in respect of mode 1. Specific to mode 2, Lao PDR has placed no limitations on market access. In relation to mode 3, Lao limits foreign equity participation to 51%. After 5 years from the date of accession, foreign equity participation would be limited to 70%. For mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

As it relates to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR is unbound in respect of mode 1 and has placed no limitations in relation to mode 2.  Specific to mode 3, the majority of directors must be engineers who are Lao PDR nationals, while for mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

In providing related scientific and technical consulting services (CPC 86751 and 86752 only), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access on modes 1 and 2, while for  mode 3, Foreign equity participation IS limited to 51%. After 5 years from the date of accession, foreign equity participation will be limited to 70%. In relation to mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

 In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2.  Specific to mode 3, the majority of directors must be engineers who are Lao PDR nationals. For mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

In providing maintenance and repair of equipment services (not including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment): - Repair of energy equip, Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access in respect of modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, Lao limits  foreign equity participation  to 51% and is Unbound, in respect of mode 4 except as indicated in the horizontal section.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1, 2 and 3, but is unbound under mode 4, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

For Specialty design services (CPC 87907), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access under modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, for 5 years after accession, foreign equity participation must be limited to 49%. Thereafter: foreign equity participation should be limited to 51%. Specific to mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section. Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment for mode 1, 2 and 3. Lao PDR is however unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

 

ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (9th Package of Commitments)

Under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (9th Package of Commitments), the business services are classified under:

  • Professional services
  • Computer and related services
  • Research and development services
  • Rental/Leasing services without operators
  • Other business services

Professional services are broken down into:

  • Legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR; and legal documentation and certification services of the laws of Lao PDR (part of CPC 861)
  • Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862)
  • Taxation consulting services (CPC 863)
  • Architectural services (CPC 8671)
  • Engineering services (CPC 8672)
  • Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673)
  • Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674)

 

For legal services, excluding participation in legal proceedings in the capacity of defenders or representatives of their clients before the courts of Lao PDR; and legal documentation and certification services of the laws of Lao PDR(part of CPC 861), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access on modes 1 and 2, cross border supply of services and consumption abroad respectively. Under mode 3, the establishment of commercial presence, foreign equity participation is limited to 49%

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2, but is unbound in relation to mode 3.

For accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access under modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, Lao limits market access by stipulating that foreign professional accountants aiming to practise in Lao PDR should submit an application to Ministry of Finance and meet the following conditions:

  • Be a member of any professional organization that is a member of IFAC or of a professional organization of which Lao PDR is a partner; and
  • Certify equivalence of qualifications. Such certificates shall be issued with the approval of the Equivalence Qualification Commission.
  • Complete a training program and aptitude test on related regulation of Lao PDR, code of ethics and national financial reporting standards co-organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Lao Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA).

After 2 February 2020, no limitations will apply except a joint venture with a Lao PDR national accountant who is a full member of the Lao Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA) is required.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment under modes 1 and no. In respect of mode 3, Lao PDR requires that the majority of directors must be certified accountants  who are Lao nationals.

For taxation consulting services (CPC 863), architectural services (CPC 8671) and engineering services (CPC 8672), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access and national treatment for modes 1,2 and 3.

Under this Agreement, no limitations on market access are placed on  Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673) under modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, joint ventures with Lao services suppliers are required and foreign equity participation is limited to 2/3. After 2 February 2018 however, no limitations will be applied.

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations under modes 1, 2 and 3.

For urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access and national treatment for modes 1, 2 and 3. 

Computer and related services cover:

  • Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
  • Software implementation service (CPC 842)
  • Data base services (CPC 844)
  • Data processing services, excluded sensitive data and for non- commercial purpose (CPC 843)
  • Other: Maintenance and repair services of computer (Part of CPC 84500)

For these services, Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access and national treatment for modes 1, 2 and 3.

Research and development services are classified under:

  • R&D Services on Natural sciences and Engineering (CPC 851)
  • Research and experimental development services (CPC 852)
  • Interdisciplinary R&D Services (CPC 853)

For these services, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1, 2 and 3.

 

Rental/Leasing Services without Operators comprise:

  • Rental/ Leasing services relating to ships (CPC 83103)
  • Leasing or rental services concerning construction machinery and equipment without operator (CPC 83107)
  • Rental/ Leasing services relating to other machinery and equipment (CPC 83106-83109)

For these services, Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access and national treatment for modes 1,2 and 3.

Other business services cover:

  • Advertising Services (CPC 871)
  • Marketing research services (CPC 86401)
  • Management consulting services
  • General management consulting services (CPC 86501)
  • Marketing management consulting services (CPC 86503)
  • Technical testing and analysis services (CPC 8676)
  • Related scientific and technical consulting
  • Geological, geophysical and other scientific prospecting services (CPC 86751)
  • Sub-surface surveying services (CPC 86752)
  • Maintenance and repair of equipment (not including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment) (CPC 633+8861-8866)
  • Building-cleaning services (CPC 874)
  • Photographic services (CPC 875)
  • Packaging services (CPC 876)
  • Printing and Publishing (CPC 88442)
  • Specialty design services (CPC 87907)

 

For the following services:

  • Advertising Services (CPC 871)
  • Marketing research services (CPC 86401)
  • Management consulting services
  • General management consulting services (CPC 86501)
  • Marketing management consulting services (CPC 86503)

Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access and national treatment for modes 1,2 and 3.

For technical testing and analysis services (CPC 8676), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access in respect of modes 1 and 2. However in relation to mode 3, Lao PDR stipulates joint ventures only, with foreign equity limited to 51%. After 2 February 2018, foreign equity participation is limited to 70%

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment for modes 1, 2 and 3.

For the following services:

  • Related scientific and technical consulting
  • Geological, geophysical and other scientific prospecting services (CPC 86751)
  • Sub-surface surveying services (CPC 86752)

Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, the conditions as contained in the horizontal section applies.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed none in modes 1 and 2 and is unbound in relation to mode 3.

For maintenance and repair of equipment services (not including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment) (CPC 633+8861-8866), Lao PDR is uunbound, due to lack of technical feasibility for mode 1 in relation to market access and placed no limitations under mode 2. For mode 3, no limitations have been placed, except that service providers shall join with local partner.

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR is unbound, due to lack of technical feasibility under mode 1 and placed no limitations on national treatment in respect of modes 2 and 3.

For building-cleaning services (CPC 874), Lao PDR placed no limitation on market access for modes 1, 2 and 3. In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2 and is unbound under mode 3.

For photographic services (CPC 875), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access and national treatment for modes 1, 2 and 3.

For packaging services (CPC 876), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, joint venture with Lao services suppliers is required.

Specific to national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2 and is unbound for mode 3.

For printing and Publishing (CPC 88442), Lao PDR placed no limitation on market access for modes 1 and 2. Joint ventures, with a minimum of 49% foreign equity share is required in respect of mode 3.

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2 and is unbound under mode 3 except as indicated in the horizontal commitment

Specific to specialty design services (CPC 87907), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, until 2 February 2018, foreign equity participation is limited to 49%. Thereafter: foreign equity participation limited to 51%.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1, 2 and 3.

 

ASEAN – Australia/New Zealand Free Trade Agreement

  1. Business Services

Under the ASEAN- Australia/New Zealand Free Trade Agreement business services comprise:

  • Professional Services; and
  • Computer and Related Services

For Professional Services, the Agreement covers:

  • Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services (CPC 862)
  • Landscape architectural services (CPC 86742)
  • Integrated engineering and project management services (CPC 86732)
  • Integrated engineering services for the construction of manufacturing turnkey projects (CPC 86733)

 

For Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services (CPC 862),  in relation to limitations on market access, Lao PDR is unbound under mode 1 and placed no limitations under mode 2. In relation to mode 3, Lao PDR limits market access by stipulating that foreigners may acquire a license to practice as Certified Public Accountants or Accounting Consultants in the Lao PDR provided an agreement or contract is signed with their countries on such issue. Nevertheless, on a temporary basis, the Professional Accountants Body can authorize foreigners to practice as Certified Public Accountants or Accounting Consultants if they belong to countries, which are members of the International Accounting

Standards Committee.

 

To apply for this license in the Lao PDR, foreign professional accountants must acquire certification based on the following conditions:

  1.  Equivalence of diploma as provided for Lao professional accountants. Such certificates shall be issued with the approval of the Equivalence Qualification Commission;
  2. Employment of assistants of Lao nationality in percentage not less than the one provided by the professional sector;
  3. Commitment to provide necessary and continuous training to employees of Lao nationality;
  4. Morality conditions required by the Professional Accountant's Body Board;
  5. Certification of financial statements by staff of Lao nationality.

In addition foreigners shall implement rights and obligations similarly to members of the Professional Accountant's Body, but they may not become members of such body.

It should also be noted that for auditing services: foreign suppliers may audit only private enterprises and for all accounting and bookkeeping must be done in the Lao language.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR is unbound for Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services (CPC 862) under mode 1 and placed no limitations under mode 2. Specific to mode 3, Lao PDR is also unbound.

In liberalizing Landscape architectural services (CPC 86742), Lao PDR is unbound under mode 1 in respect of limitations on market access and has placed no limitations on modes 2 and 3.  The same applies in relation to limitations on national treatment.

For integrated engineering and project management services (CPC 86732) and Integrated engineering services for the construction of manufacturing turnkey projects (CPC 86733), Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2 in relation to limitations on market access. Specific to mode 3, Lao PDR stipulates that service providers must join with Lao domestic investors and that the Lao investor must have at least 30% of the total investment shares.

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR is unbound under mode 1 and placed no limitations under modes 2 and 3.

Computer and Related Services comprise the following within the scope of this agreement:

 

  • Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware
  • (CPC 841)
  • Software implementation services (CPC 842)
  • Data base services (CPC 844)
  • Other maintenance and repaired services of computer (CPC 845)
  • Other (CPC 846+847)

For these services sectors, Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access and national treatment under modes 1, 2 and 3.

ASEAN Agreement on the Movement of Natural Persons

  1. Business Services

Under this Agreement, Business services are broken down into:

  • Professional services
  • Computer and related services
  • Research and development services
  • Rental / Leasing services without operators
  • Other business services

 

Professional services cover:

  • Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862)
  • Taxation consulting services (Part of CPC 863)
  • Architectural services (CPC 8671)
  • Engineering services (CPC 8672)
  • Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673)
  • Integrated engineering services for transportation infrastructure turnkey projects (CPC 86731)
  • Integration engineering and project management services (CPC 86732)
  • Integrated engineering services for the construction of manufacturing turnkey projects (CPC 86733)
  • Urban Planning and Landscape architectural services (CPC 86741+86742) - Urban planning services (CPC 86741) - Landscape architectural services (CPC 86742)
  • Medical and dental services
    • General and Medical services (CPC 93121)
    • Specialized Medical services (CPC 93122)

 

For accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862), Lao limits market access by requiring participation as an employee of a registered accounting and auditing firm and further requiring that the number of foreigners should not exceed 30% of total employees as indicated in the LICPA’s by Law

For taxation consulting services (Part of CPC 863), Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section, both for market access and national treatment.

For architectural services (CPC 8671), commitments and limitations as contained in the horizontal section apply.

For engineering services (CPC 8672), Lao PDR is unbound except as specified in the horizontal section, for mode market access and national treatment.

For the following services:

  • Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673)
  • Integrated engineering services for transportation infrastructure turnkey projects (CPC 86731)
  • Integration engineering and project management services (CPC 86732)
  • Integrated engineering services for the construction of manufacturing turnkey projects (CPC 86733

Lao PDR is unbound except as specified in the horizontal section.

For urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 86741+86742) - Urban planning services (CPC 86741) - Landscape architectural services (CPC 86742), Lao PDR is unbound except as stipulated in the horizontal section.

For medical and dental services, such as general and medical services (CPC 93121) and specialized medical services (CPC 93122),  Lao PDR is unbound, in relation to market access, except indicated in horizontal section and based on the specific project cooperation agreements. As it relates to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR is unbound except as stipulated in the horizontal section.

 

Computer and related services comprise:

  • Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
  • Software implementation services (CPC 842)
  • Data base services (CPC 844)
  • Data processing services, excluded sensitive data and for non-commercial purpose (CPC 843)
  • Other: the horizontal section Maintenance and repair services of computer (Part of CPC 84500)

For the following services:

  • Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
  • Software implementation services (CPC 842)
  • Data base services (CPC 844),

Limitations on market access are to be applied consistent with the horizontal section. In respect of limitations on national treatment, these are to be applied consistent with the horizontal section and the Law on Taxation.

For

  • Data processing services, excluded sensitive data and for non-commercial purpose (CPC 843)
  • Other: the horizontal section Maintenance and repair services of computer (Part of CPC 84500)

Lao PDR is unbound except as stipulated in the horizontal section.

Research and development services comprise:

  • R&D services on natural sciences (CPC 851)
  • R&D services on social sciences and humanities (CPC 852)
  • Research and experimental development services (CPC 852)
  • Interdisciplinary R&D services (CPC 853)

For these services, Lao PDR is unbound except as stipulated in the horizontals section.

Rental/Leasing without an Operator services comprise:

  • Rental/Leasing Services relating to ships (CPC 83103)
  • Relating to other machinery and equipment (CPC 83106-83109)

Limitations on market access and national treatment are to be applied consistent with the horizontal section.

Other Business services cover advertising services (CPC 871), of which the contents shall be approved by the Ministry of Information and Culture of Lao PDR. For these services, Lao PDR is unbound except as specified in the horizontal section.

 

ASEAN – China Free Trade Agreement on Trade in Services

  1. Business Services

 

Under the ASEAN – China Free Trade Agreement on Trade in Services, business services covers professional services, which comprises:

  • Architectural Services (CPC 8671)
  • Engineering services (CPC 8672)
  • Integrated engineering services
    • Integrated engineering services for transportation infrastructure turnkey projects (CPC 86731)
    • Integrated engineering and project management services (CPC 86732)
    • Integrated engineering services for construction of manufacturing turnkey projects (CPC 86733)
  • Urban Planning and landscape
  • Architectural services
    • Urban planning services (CPC 86741)
    • Landscape architectural Services (CPC 86742)
  • Computer and related services
    • Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
    • Software implementation services (CPC 842)
    • Database services (CPC 844)
    • Data processing services
  • Excluded sensitive data and for non-commercial purpose (CPC 843)
    • Other: Maintenance and repair services of Computer (Part of CPC 84500)
  • Research and development services
    • Research and experimental development services on natural sciences and engineering (CPC 851)
    • Research and experimental development services on social sciences and humanities (CPC 852)
    • Interdisciplinary research and experimental development services (CPC 853)

For architectural Services (CPC 8671), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. Specific to modes 3 and 4, the conditions as specified in the horizontal section apply.

As it relates to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations for modes 1 and 2. Specific to modes 3 and 4, the conditions as specified in the horizontal section apply.

For engineering services (CPC 8672) and integrated engineering services, which comprises:

  • Integrated engineering services for transportation infrastructure turnkey projects (CPC 86731)
  • Integrated engineering and project management services (CPC 86732)

Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. Specific to mode 3, Lao applies limitations consistent with the horizontal section. Under mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the

horizontal section.

In respect of limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment for modes 1 and 2. For mode 3, Lao PDR is unbound and under mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

For integrated engineering services for construction of manufacturing turnkey projects (CPC 86733), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. In respect of mode 2, Lao PDR stipulates that joint ventures are to be undertaken with Lao services and foreign equity participation is limited 2/3. Under mode 4, limitations placed by Lao PDR are to be undertaken as indicated in the horizontal section.

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2. Under modes 3 and 4, Lao applies the limitations as stipulated in the horizontal section of the agreement.

For the following services:

  • Urban Planning and landscape
  • Architectural services
    • Urban planning services (CPC 86741)
    • Landscape architectural Services (CPC 86742),

Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2.  In respect of mode 3, the limitations are to be applied consistent with the horizontal section, but is not applied for public funded and foreign granted project. Under mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2. In relation to modes 3 and 4, Lao PDR applies limitations consistent with the horizontal section of the agreement.

For computer and related services, which includes:

  • Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
  • Software implementation services (CPC 842)
  • Database services (CPC 844)

Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. In respect of mode 3, limitations are applied as specified in the horizontal section.  In respect of mode 4, limitations are to be applied consistent with the Labour Law and Law on the Promotion and Management of

Foreign Investment.

In respect of limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2. In respect of mode 3, limitations are applied as specified in the horizontal section.  In respect of mode 4, limitations are to be applied consistent with the Labour Law and Law on the Promotion, and Management of Foreign Investment and the Law on Taxation.

For data processing services, excluding sensitive data and for non-commercial purpose (CPC 843) and other services which cover maintenance and repair services of Computer (Part of CPC 84500), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, Lao PDR applies horizontal commitments in the horizontal section but is however unbound in respect of mode 4, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, Lao PDR applies horizontal commitments consistent with the horizontal section and is unbound under mode 4, except as indicated in the horizontal section.

For research and development services, which comprise

  • Research and experimental development services on natural sciences and engineering (CPC 851)
  • Research and experimental development services on social sciences and humanities (CPC 852)

 

ASEAN – India Agreement on Trade in Services

 

  1. Business Services

Under the ASEAN – India Agreement on Trade in Services, business services are classified to comprise:

  • Professional services; and
  • Computer and related services

Professional services cover:

  • Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862)
  • Engineering Services (CPC 8672) (c) Integrated engineering services
  • Integrated engineering services for Transportation infrastructure turnkey Projects (CPC 86731) - Integration engineering and project management services (CPC 86732)
  • Integrated engineering services for the construction services of manufacturing turnkey projects
  • (CPC 86733)

Computer and relates services cover:

  • Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
  • Software implementation services (CPC 842)
  • Data base services (CPC 844)
  • Data processing services, included sensitive data and for non-commercial purpose (CPC 843)
  • Maintenance and repair services of computer (Part of CPC 84500)

For accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862), in relation to limitations on market access, Lao PDR is unbound under mode 1, cross border supply of services and placed no limitations under mode 2, consumption abroad. Under mode 3, Lao PDR stipulates that foreign service suppliers may acquire a license to practice as Certified Public Accountants or Accounting Consultants in Lao PDR provided that an agreement or contract is signed with their countries on such issue. Nevertheless, on a temporary basis, the Professional Accountants Body can authorise foreigners to practice as Certified Public Accountants or Accounting Consultants if they belong to countries, which are members of the International Accounting Standards Committee. To apply for a license in Lao PDR, foreign professional accountants shall acquire certification based on the following conditions:

a) Equivalence of diploma as provided for Lao professional accountants. Such certificates shall be issued with the approval of the equivalence Qualification Commission.

b) Employment of assistants of Lao nationality in percentage not less than the one provided by the professional sector.

c) Commitment to provide necessary and continuous training to employees of Lao nationality.

d) Morality conditions required by the professional accountant’s body board.

e) Certification of financial statements by staff of Lao nationality.

In addition foreign service suppliers shall implement rights and obligations similarly to members of the professional accountant’s body, but they may not become members of such body.  For auditing services: foreign suppliers may audit only private enterprises.

All accounting and bookkeeping must be done by a Lao national certified accountant.

As it relates to mode 4, movement of natural persons, Lao PDR is unbound.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR is unbound under mode 1, but placed no limitations under mode 2 and is unbound under both modes 3 and 4.

For engineering Services (CPC 8672), Integrated engineering services and integrated engineering services for transportation infrastructure turnkey Projects (CPC 86731) - Integration engineering and project management services (CPC 86732),  as it relates to limitations on market access, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2. For mode 3, limitations on market access are to be applied consistent with the specified in the horizontal section but are not applied for public funded and foreign granted projects. Under mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on modes 1 and 2. Lao PDR is unbound under mode 3 and is also unbound under mode 4, except as specified in the horizontal section.

For integrated engineering services for the construction services of manufacturing turnkey projects (CPC 86733), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access under modes 1 and 2. Under mode 3, joint ventures with Lao services suppliers are required and foreign equity participation is limited to 2/3.

Specific to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR applied limitations as indicated in the horizontal section for mode 1. Under modes 2 and 3, Lao placed no limitations and specific to mode 4, the limitations are to be applied consistent with the horizontal section.

For consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841), software implementation services (CPC 842) and data base services (CPC 844), Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2. Under mode 3, the limitations are to be applied consistent with horizontal commitments. Under mode 4, the limitations are to be applied consistent with the Labour Law and Law on the Promotion and Management or Foreign Investment.

In relation to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations on national treatment for modes 1 and 2. In relation to mode 3, the limitations are to be applied consistent with the horizontal section, whereas under mode 4, limitations are to be applied consistent with the Labour Law, Law on Promotion and Management or Foreign Investment and the Law on Taxation.

For data processing services, including sensitive data and for non-commercial purpose (CPC 843), along with maintenance and repair services of computer (Part of CPC 84500), the Lao PDR placed no limitations on market access for modes 1 and 2 and applies commitments under mode 3 consistent with the horizontal section. Under mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section.

As it relates to limitations on national treatment, Lao PDR placed no limitations under modes 1 and 2. In respect of mode 3, Lao PDR applies the commitments consistent with the horizontal section and as it relates to mode 4, Lao PDR is unbound except as indicated in the horizontal section.