Discusses the legal requirements for selling to the host government, including whether the government has agreed to abide by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement or is a party to a government procurement chapter in a U.S. FTA. Specifies areas where there are opportunities.

The Lao Government is a leading consumer of goods and services, but procurement procedures are opaque.  The national budget is heavily augmented by development assistance, and donors commonly encourage government purchases from their home industries as part of aid deals.  Laos is not a party or an observer to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.

When business opportunities involving Lao government entities are associated with donors, support contracts are often advertised for bid in local English-language newspapers, Vientiane Times and KPL.  Major donor-financed deals may include infrastructure projects financed by multilateral development banks including the World Bank and Asia Development Bank.

Government purchases are not typically advertised and bid upon openly.  However, niche opportunities are known to exist for direct private sales to government entities, with past examples such as telecommunications and aviation. The government recently issued orders that appear to require open and competitive bidding for all government-financed procurement and projects.

U.S. Commercial Service Liaison Offices at the Multilateral Development Banks (Asian Development Bank, World Bank)

The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service maintains Commercial Liaison Offices in each of the main Multilateral Development Banks, including the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. These institutions lend billions of dollars in developing countries to projects aimed at accelerating economic growth and social development by reducing poverty and inequality, improving health and education, and advancing infrastructure development. The Commercial Liaison Offices help American businesses learn how to get involved in bank-funded projects, and advocate on behalf of American bidders. Learn more by contacting the Commercial Liaison Offices to the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

Web Resources
Commercial Liaison Office to Asian Development Bank
Commercial Liaison Office to the World Bank

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Laos Business to Government Legislation