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IFC Supports Lao PDR’s Ministry of Finance in Rolling Out New Tax Reforms

Vientiane, Lao PDR, August 20, 2012 –-IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has advised and supported the government of Lao PDR in developing a new tax law, which will make it easier and faster for businesses to comply with tax regulations, thereby fostering increased productivity and economic growth.
Today, IFC and the Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance hosted a workshop in Vientiane Province to introduce the revised tax law to the business community. Although the legislation took effect last December, officials have been awaiting the issuance of its implementation guidelines. At the workshop, the authorities consulted the participants on the draft implementation decree. Their feedback will incorporated in the final decree, which will be submitted to the prime minister for approval in September. The final decree will be implemented starting October 1, 2012.  
With IFC’s support, the Tax Department will hold an additional 16 workshops in the capital of Vientiane and all of the country’s remaining provinces.
“The law will make it easier for businesses in Lao PDR to comply with tax regulations. Among the improvements are simplified tax calculation and accounting procedures for small and medium enterprises,” said Khamphay Vongsakhamphoui, Deputy Director General of the Tax Department. “We hope that the law will help widen the tax base, thereby increasing national tax revenue.”
The new law is expected to encourage businesses to file taxes more accurately, which will help level the playing field and enable similar-sized businesses to compete on equal ground.
“More efficient tax-reporting processes represent a significant cost saving for local businesses and will make it easier for all enterprises to operate in Lao PDR,” said Aimilios Chatzinikolaou, IFC’s Resident Representative in Lao PDR.
IFC has been active in Lao PDR since 1998 and supports the country’s transition toward a market-driven economy by improving the investment climate and promoting growth through improved access to services and infrastructure. The IFC’s advisory program in Lao PDR is implemented in partnership with Canada, Finland, Japan, Ireland, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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