Laos cuts import tariffs on over 8,000 products from ASEAN hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Lao authorities have reduced import tariffs on 8,536 products from ASEAN member countries to zero percent as part of efforts to establish the ASEAN Free Trade Area.

The information was unveiled by the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment at a recent annual meeting of the finance-planning sector held in Vientiane, reported Vientiane Times.

These goods represent 89 percent of the total products on a designated list which Laos trades with regional member countries under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

The report also indicated that under the ATIGA, Laos is only able to maintain import tariffs on some goods which it sees as essential for economic stability. In this regard, Laos has left the level of import tariffs unchanged on 325 items.

A customs official said in recent years, the Lao government has imposed 10 percent value added tax on goods imported into the country as part of efforts to shore up domestic revenue. 

At present, Laos is flooded with foreign products, which account for more than 50 percent of the goods sold in the country. 

The Lao government has been trying to boost domestic production and consumption.

However, some businesses such as cement and steel producers have complained about the stiff competition they face from foreign firms.-VNA