Insights / Updates

Stay up to date with legal developments in Laos.

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Rajah & Tann Asia's Annual Regional Trade Report 2022

2022 has been an interesting year as the world emerged from the pandemic. Hard core restrictions from the pandemic are all but gone and face-to-face meetings are starting to become the norm again. We are not quite at the fervour that we were at pre-pandemic, although the chorus would agree that 2021 remains an exceptional year.

Going into 2023, the prognosis is that it is going to be a challenging year with headwinds. Yet, this may not be the case for trade law related matters, where there have been interesting developments in 2022, and continued supply chain disruptions which are seeing a changing global trade play.

In this Annual Report, we highlight key developments across Southeast Asia, such as regulatory activity relating to anti-dumping and safeguard measures, developments relating to export/import, free trade agreements, as well as sanctions, as they have occurred in 2022. Businesses are reminded to stay updated on legislative and enforcement developments on trade-related matters, which involves not only legal compliance but also understanding practically how to work with regulators. It is important for your internal trade processes to be continually monitored and updated, and for your employees to be continually trained and skilled. If you would like us to come in and do a training or dialogue with you, we would be happy to do so. We look forward to more opportunities to work and engage with you this year.

As we get into the 2023, we wish you the Very Best for the Year, and look forward to working with you. Our team stands ready to assist in any case or query or just to have a chat.

A Guide to Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia

Globally, nations and regulators are rallying their people and businesses to combat climate change. At the most recent 2021 United Nations Climate Conference of the Conference of the Parties ("COP26"), attaining net zero emissions by mid-century was underscored as a key outcome. To achieve this target, there is an urgent need to phase out the use of unabated coal and increase investment in renewable energy ("RE"). The Association of Southeast Asian Nations ("ASEAN") member states have also affirmed their commitment to accelerate decarbonisation and cut emissions at the COP26.

Investment and deployment of RE is a key solution to decarbonisation and achieving the net zero emissions goal. ASEAN countries have taken steps to varying extents and effectiveness for energy diversification, including efforts to deploy RE and develop RE technologies. Each ASEAN country faces its own particular set of challenges and constraints in achieving its net zero emissions goal due to a myriad of factors including its stage of economic development, resources (financial and non-financial) and geographical constraints.

In this Guide, we provide an overview of the RE landscape in the region and certain salient legal and regulatory issues affecting the development and deployment of RE in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Instruction on the Procedures for Applying for a Lao PDR Entry-Exit Permit during COVID-19 Pandemic

On 17 March 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ("MOFA") issued Instruction No. 2143/MOFA.TFC on the Procedure for Applying for a Lao PDR Entry-Exit Permit during COVID-19 Pandemic  ("Instruction"). The Instruction replaces Instruction No.4881/MOFA.TFC dated 31 December 2021.  

Individuals wishing to enter into or depart from Lao PDR must comply with the procedures and measures set out in the Instruction. Among other things, individuals wishing to travel to Lao PDR must have with them certificates of COVID-19 vaccination and tested negative in an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their entry into Lao PDR.  They must also register for a  Lao Green Pass with a  QR code via this link: Specific requirements apply to various types of travellers such as diplomats and representatives of international organisations, investors and technical officers involved in businesses in Lao PDR, returning Lao citizens, and returning spouses of Lao citizens.