Special and Specific Economic Zones in the Lao PDR
I. Investment in Special Economic Zone and Specific Economic Zone (SEZ)
Investment in SEZ consists of 2 forms as follows:
1. General Investment: Developers and investors can invest in all sectors in the SEZ, except for the Government prohibitive activities, mainly the trading of arms, drugs, poisonous chemical substances, activities that destroy environment, lives and properties of the people, services that are against regulations and laws, destruction of peace, tidiness, and beautiful national and local cultures. The general investments will not receive any promotional policy from SEZ.
2. Promotional Investment: Promotional investments, according to the regulation of the SEZ Administrative Committee or Economic Administrative Board, are mainly the electronic industries, scientific and new technological researches in the production, production of modern construction equipment, tourist precincts infrastructure, production and processing of hygienic agricultural product, organic products, production for export, forestation, schools, hospitals, public parks and other investment activities considered appropriate and strongly supportive by SEZ.
II. Investment Proposals in SEZ
Both domestic and foreign people and legal entities with purposes of investment is SEZ shall submit the investment application to the SEZ Administrative Committee or Administrative Board, depending on its specific forms.
Investors can submit their investment application by fax, email or in persons to the One Stop Service Office of SEZ, depending on case by case.
III. Management Mechanism
1. Organisational Structure of SEZ Administrative Committee/Administrative Board.
Organisational structure of SEZ includes Economic Administrative Committee/Board, Small Administrative – Wider Society Office(One Stop Service Office) that may be divided into several working units based on the appropriateness of each region, for instance, (1) Developers’ Group, (2) Social-Economic Group, and each group may be divided into several working units as follows:
2. Basic Principles in mall Administrative – Wider Society Office (One Stop Service)
Small Administrative – Wider Society Office (One Stop Service) operates in line with the general principles in the form of one stop service through concise, swift, creative, transparent, disclosed and accountable procedures. Agreements on important issues in relation to the SEZ development and management shall be made through the Economic Administrative Committee/Board. In case the discussion with concerned sectors is necessary, the Small Administrative – Wider Society Office will be the one stop service provider in providing information and solving issues of the investors and service providers in the zone based on the determined date and time.Levies and service fee shall be openly announced and sticked at the Small Administrative – Wider Society Office.
Basic functions of Small Administrative – Wider Society Office (One Stop Service)
3. Small Administrative – Wider Society Office (One Stop Service)
Small Administrative – Wider Society Office (One Stop Service)is the service centre in SEZ development and management, starting from receiving documents or proposals of investors, service provider throughout the solution, approval and return of the document to the entrepreneurs. These generally include:
- Land Title Deed;
- Enterprise Registration Certificate;
- Import-Export (raw materials, machineries, construction materials, goods and others);
- License on labour import (identity card and labour card);
- Tax-Customs collection (salary and value added tax);
- License on construction of office buildings, service centres, supermarkets and factory;
- License on environment;
Procedures of Small Administrative – Wider Society Office (One Stop Service)
IV. Criteria and procedures of Small Administrative – Wider Society Office (One Stop Service)
1 Lease of land utilization rights in SEZ
1. Criteria of a proposer
- Both local and foreign people or legal people;
- Criminal Record Excerpt No. 03 (for Lao people);
- Financial status;
2. Documents required for license approval
- Application for the lease of land utilization rights (based on SEZ printed forms);
- contract of business partnership (in case of joint investment from several parties);
- Copy of identity card, copy of family book and criminal record excerpt No. 3 (for domestic investors);
- Copy of passport and brief biography of the investor (for foreign investors);
- Power of attorney (as per the form of SEZ);
3. Consideration Procedures
- The investors submit the proposal and relevant documents to the developer at One Stop Service Office of SEZ of their interest of investment;
- The investors agree and concur with the developers on the rental rate, duration, payment method;
- The developer signs a land lease contract with the investor, then proposes to the SEZ Administrative Committee or Economic Administration Board for the issuance of the leased land utilisation license in accordance with the agreed contract duration (as per the form of SEZ). The maximum duration of land lease contract must not exceed the SEZ development duration.
2 Application for Enterprise Registration Certificate
1. Conditions of the proposer
- Person or legal person(both domestic and foreign);
- Land use license for SEZ (rented with developer);
- Criminal record excerpt No. 3. (for Lao citizen);
2. Documents required for applying for an approval
- Application for investment (as per the form of SEZ);
- Land use license issued by the Zone Administrative Committee (rental has been paid);
- Business partnership contract (if there are several investment parties);
- Copy of ID card, copy of family book and criminal record excerpt No. 3 (for domestic investors);
- Copy of passportand brief biography of investor (for foreign investors);
- Power of Attorney (as per the form of SEZ).
3. Procedures of Enterprise Registration Certificate issuance and renewal
- After receiving the utilisation right certificate of the lease land, the investor submit the investment application, together with other relevant documents, to the One Stop Service Office for consideration;
- Administrative Committee/Economic Administration Board issues the Enterprise Registration Certificate (as per the form of SEZ) no later than 3 days with 1 year validity for each issuance. After expiration, the One Stop Service Office shall be advised to renew the certificate for the following year;
- Before approving the Business Registration Certificate for the following year, the SEZ Administrative Committee must examine to find out whether the investor has already completely followed the customs-tax commitment, salary tax and other commitments or not.
4. Cancellation of Enterprise Registration Certificate
The Administrative Committee/Economic Administration Board is entitled to cancel or withdraw the approved Enterprise Registration Certificate and other promotion policies if it is found that the investor is not able to operate the business and procure 30% (thirty per cent) of the registered capital within 365 days (three hundred sixty-five days) after receiving the Enterprise Registration Certificate (is not entitled for the Enterprise Registration Certificate renewal).
3 Application for stamps
1. Documents required for license application
- Application for stamp making (as per the form of SEZ);
- Enterprise Registration Certificate.
2. Procedures of license application
- Submit application and enterprise registration certificate to One Stop Service Office of the zone;
- Administrative Committee/Economic Administration Board verifies the documents and coordinates with concerned sectors (if needed) and issue the stamp use certificate (as per the form of SEZ).
4 Goods Import-Export
1. Documents required for applying for the approval
- Enterprise Registration Certificate;
- Application for goods import-export customs exempt (as per the form of SEZ);
- Purchase orders and import-export invoice and packing list.
2. Procedures in applying for the approval
- The investor submits the proposal and other relevant documents to One Stop Service Office;
- SEZ Administrative Committee/ Economic Administration Board issues the certificate (as per the form of SEZ);
- Declare the certificate and other relevant documents to customs-tax officers at goods import-export check pointfor their facilitation;
- Import the goods according to the regulations at the customs-tax checkpoint;
- If the goods are imported for service and trading, customs-tax laws for imported goods must be implemented.