M'sian companies should eye Laos as next opportunity in Asean as the country develops - Matrade

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian companies should explore opportunities in Laos as the country is undergoing significant development, especially in infrastructure, transportation and energy.

The Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) said Malaysian companies related to construction, engineering and project management should explore opportunities in Laos. 

"This is in line with the current development landscape in Laos where the government is focusing on leveraging its lengthy land borders with Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam to transform Laos from 'landlocked' to 'land-linked', further integrating the Lao economy with the larger economies in its neighbourhood altogether," the national trade promotion agency told Bernama.

Besides, it said the Lao government is also looking at increasing exports of agriculture, manufactured goods, and electricity to its neighbours, and sees significant growth opportunities resulting from the Laos-China railway, which opened in December 2021 and connects Kunming in Yunnan Province, China with Laos' capital city, Vientiane.

"Therefore, Malaysian companies interested in doing business in Laos are not only eyeing market expansion in the country but also (looking at the opportunity) to access and serve the (other) markets in the region through Laos," said Matrade.

It noted that some Malaysian companies have established operations in Laos while others were working with local partners to have a presence in the country in various sectors, including services.

Additionally, the Malaysia Business Chamber Laos, (MBCL) which serves as a platform for Malaysian businesses to exchange information and insights, is also actively promoting the businesses of their members and creating a greater network.

Through its Ho Chi Minh City trade office, Matrade said the agency provides information and linkages to Malaysian companies through various activities such as the International Sourcing Programme (INSP).

These companies include sectors from food and beverages (F&B), information and communication technology (ICT), construction services, education and training, renewable energy as well as logistic services.

"As part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Laos has always been an important trading partner for Malaysia regardless of its share of the nation's total trade. 

"We believe that with Laos being the chair for Asean this year, bilateral relations between both countries including on trade will be intensified," it said.

It was reported that the Laos government is improving its business environment, especially to ease business transactions and development in the country which will lead to attracting more Malaysian businesses to take part in the process. — BERNAMA

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