Laos, holding the chairmanship of ASEAN for 2024, hosted the 99th ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Meeting and the 23rd Joint Business Council (JBC) Meeting in Luang Prabang province, resulting in numerous positive outcomes and setting forth plans for future business connections. The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), representing ASEAN-BAC Laos, orchestrated both gatherings.
The 99th ASEAN-BAC Meeting welcomed members from the 10 ASEAN countries, alongside participants from various countries constituting the Joint Business Council. Discussions at the meeting revolved around specific directions and solutions for advancing ASEAN activities in 2024.
Under the theme “Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience,” ASEAN is crafting a connectivity master plan while aiming to bolster resilience amidst global competition and other unprecedented challenges. The meetings were attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Industry and Commerce, H.E. Malaythong Kommasith, and Deputy Governor of Luang Prabang province, Mrs. Siliphone Souphanthong.
Representatives from Vientiane, Luang Prabang province, members of the LNCCI executive committee, the Luang Prabang provincial executive committee of commerce and industry, ambassadors to Laos from ASEAN countries, and other invited guests also graced the occasion.
H.E. Malaythong underscored the significance of the ASEAN-BAC, affirming Laos’ continued support for the Council as a special committee collaborating with the ASEAN Secretariat to bolster ASEAN through the growth of the region’s businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Additionally, Chairman of the ASEAN-BAC Lao PDR and President of LNCCI, Mr. Oudet Souvannavong, declared that “Laos’ chairmanship of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council this year will align with the central government’s slogan for Laos’ ASEAN chairmanship: ‘ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience’.” On the same day, Laos officially assumed the chairmanship of the ASEAN-BAC for 2024 and the hosting responsibilities for the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) for 2024.
During Laos’ chairmanship of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, focus will be placed on six priority sectors:
1) Digital transformation,
2) Sustainable development,
3) Health resilience,
4) Food security,
5) Trade and investment facilitation, and
6) Connectivity and supply chains.
Throughout 2024, the LNCCI, also known as the ASEAN-BAC Lao PDR, will diligently execute plans according to priority, in collaboration with the 9 chapters of ASEAN-BAC, international organizations, and government leaders in ASEAN and international regions. The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and the ASEAN Business Awards are slated for October this year, coinciding with the annual ASEAN Leaders’ Summit and related meetings held under the rotating ASEAN chairmanship.
These events will witness the participation of ASEAN leaders, dialogue partner countries (ASEAN plus), government representatives, international organizations from various sectors, business representatives from each member country, and business partners. The agenda will include seminars, workshops, and networking sessions where various regional business partners will share their experiences and engage in discussions.