Discussion Papers

No.559 Service liberalization in Lao PDR

by Ikumo ISONO and Hikari ISHIDO

March 2016


Service liberalization is emerging as a high-priority issue in various parts of the world for mega free trade agreements as well as national policy. Lao PDR is no exception. To examine the level of service liberalization in Lao PDR, we first compare the Hoekman Indices of Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam on the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS 8). Lao PDR has lower commitment in many subsectors. In particular, we list the sectors in which Lao PDR made a lower commitment than Cambodia and Vietnam in Mode 3 (supply of services through commercial establishments abroad). Second, a simulation analysis using the Geographical Simulation Model (IDE-GSM) from the Institute of Developing Economies at the Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO) reveals how service liberalization benefits the economic development of Lao PDR. The two analyses clearly reveal that it is essential for Lao PDR to promote further service liberalization since such liberalization will contribute to the country’s development.

Keywords: Lao PDR, Service, Simulation, AFAS
JEL classification: F14, F15, F21

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