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Laos to explore trade in northeast India

Mithu Choudhury in Guwahati
An interactive meeting was held in Guwahati in December last between the Assam Chamber of Commerce (ACC) and the Laos Indian Chamber of Commerce (LICC) to open up new vistas of trade and understanding. The Chairman of the LICC, Habib Md Choudhury, who is himself a son of Assam, was present on the occasion.  

Rupam Goswami, the Chief Convenor of ACC and Habib Choudhury, both expressed their eagerness to take steps to encourage the business community of Assam to invest and export in Laos.

Habib Md Choudhury described to about the scope of investment in Laos and extended his willingness to help someone interested to invest and searching for opportunity in Laos. Speaking about Laos, Choudhury informed that with 2,34,000 sq ft area and 60 lakh population , it is one of the most politically  stable  and safe  countries in the region.  

According to him, Laos has good hydro power potential, is a strong coffee producer and rich in timber and silk.  

He listed the main potential sectors of doing business in Laos as Energy, Mining, Agro products, Tourism, Health, Real Estate and Primary Education. Citing low cost of labour and exemption of export duty in export products and import duty in raw materials and capital equipments, as the main attraction of investing in Laos, Choudhury said that there can be three business forms of trading and investment--100% ownership, Joint venture or Business Co-operation by contracts.  

He informed the government of Laos is promoting contract farming instead of granting concession.  

" Laos investment law combines foreign investment and domestic investment law into one to create a level playing field for both domestic as well as foreign investors.", informed Choudhury.

A battery of renowned industrialists, professionals and businessmen of the region attended the meet.                      January 2011