VIENTIANE, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government has instructed ministries to streamline procedures to facilitate trade and speed up freight transport and the export of goods.
The move aims to facilitate trade and accelerate freight transport and the export of goods such as farm products, timber and non-timber forest products, and minerals.
The Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry was told to work with the relevant bodies to streamline procedures and the certification process, so that domestic transport and the export of products managed by the ministry would take place at a much faster pace, according to Lao economic daily.
Timber products include logs, and half-finished and finished timber products harvested from both natural forests and managed plantations.
Livestock and made-of-livestock products include cattle, horses, pigs, birds and goats as well as aquatic animals.
Lao government advised the relevant bodies to devise clear and streamlined regulations to shorten all the related processes and cut spending, thus speeding up the movement of freight.
However, the shipment of commercial crops including rice, coffee, beans, cassava, sweetcorn, fruit and vegetables no longer requires transporters to seek permission from the authorities.
This means the transport of these products can be made without needing to seek permission. However, in the event of a plant or animal disease outbreak, transport will be prohibited.
In addition, the authorities were told to formulate legislation to regulate products such as wooden furniture and handicrafts being sold at fairs and electronics markets.
The Ministry of Energy and Mines was told to streamline similar procedures and mechanisms to speed up the export of mineral products.
The instruction asked the Ministry of Finance to continue to install a computerized Customs management system, and to expand the Lao National Single Window (for tariff declaration) in order to facilitate and quicken procedures.
The total value of trade in April amounted to 950 million U.S. dollars, of which 424 million dollars were exports and 526 million dollars were imports.
Laos mainly exports gold, gold bars, paper and paper products, copper ore, wood pulp and waste paper, rubber, cassava, iron ore, bananas, clothing, and fertilizer, according to the latest information from the Lao Trade Portal website.