ECCIL EuroCham works to unlock Lao-European business potential
In 2021, the European Union embarked on a grand pivot toward the Indo-Pacific region. This milestone reflects the growing importance of the region and focuses on strengthening trade between the two regions. As such, considerable interest is growing among European companies in investing in Laos, which is also reciprocated by Lao businesses. In steps the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Lao PDR (ECCIL EuroCham) which serves as a bridge to facilitate and increase two-way investment and trade flows between the Lao PDR and Europe.
ECCIL EuroCham does more than just contact and business matching. The organization also acts as a single voice to advocate on behalf of members’ interests and works with Lao stakeholders to continuously improve the business environment. ECCIL EuroCham also works to improve capacity and develop the Lao private sector through training and seminars.
Recently, ECCIL EuroCham and the European Union Delegation in the Lao PDR organized a series of very popular business networking events in Vientiane and Luang Prabang so that members and potential members can meet each other and establish new contacts.
The 1st Lao-Europe Business Networking and Promotion Event was held at Crowne Plaza Vientiane. Throughout the afternoon, guests and visitors saw exhibition booths by members of ECCIL EuroCham on a wide range of businesses, services, and products, and were later introduced to EuroCham and Team Europe’s work in supporting trade, investment, and private sector development in the Lao PDR.
Several days later, the 2nd Lao-Europe Business Networking and Promotion Event was held at Pullman Luang Prabang, which attracted over 100 attendees representing a wide cross-section of the business community. Thiane Khamvongsa, Executive Director of the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lao PDR remarked, “ECCIL EuroCham has worked for a decade on raising the profile of Lao PDR in the European business community as an investment destination and on creating a “single voice” of European Businesses advocating for an improved business environment. While our core network is in Vientiane, we are hoping to extend our activities to Luang Prabang now that businesses, including in hospitality, are gearing up for a better year.”
Team Europe introduced its strategy 2021–2025 on supporting trade and the private sector at these events. Team Europe and the EU delegation in Lao PDR are strong institutional partners of ECCIL EuroCham, and they work daily with the Chamber to foster sustainable and responsible private investment, promote women in business, improve the Lao business climate, and increase export and trade – between the Lao PDR and the EU, as well as in the ASEAN region.
At the event, Mr. Peter Fodge, President of ECCIL EuroCham reinforced the great potential for Lao-EU business ties, “the statistics for regional trade with the EU make it is obvious that we are behind our neighboring countries which means there is significant scope for increased Lao trade with the EU. Let us use this event as the kick-off for intensified cooperation between chambers, and between chambers and the Government of the Lao PDR with the common goal to increase Lao exports to the EU, and to attract responsible European investors to Laos!”
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the responsibility of the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Lao PDR and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
To learn more about ECCIL EuroCham’s work or becoming a member, visit eccil.org
Text & PHOTOGRAPHS BY ECCIL Eurocham