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Lao PDR Market Access Guide: Trading with ASEAN Dialogue Partners – Japan

Lord, Montague (2013): Lao PDR Market Access Guide: Trading with ASEAN Dialogue Partners – Japan.

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The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) offers duty-free treatment on most of Japan’s imports to Lao producers and exporters. This type of preferential treatment has contributed to the rapid rise of Lao exports to that country – nearly 30% a year in the last decade, making Japan one of Lao PDR’s top 10 export destinations.

How Lao Producers and Exporters Benefit from AJCEP

- As member country of AJCEP, Lao producers and exporters now enjoy duty-free treatment on most of Japan’s imports.

- The Agreement also covers rules of origin; sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures; standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures; trade in services, and investments, and economic cooperation in general in a variety of areas.

- Although Japan’s average level of protection is about the same as that of the ASEAN countries, its average tariff on agricultural products is nearly 30%. This high level of protection for non-AJCEP countries gives Lao producers and exporters a large competitive advantage over those countries.

- Japan ranks among the top 10 countries with the most conducive environment for doing business. In trading across borders it outperforms the average for all other industrialized countries. Japan’s logistics environment is also highly favorable to trading.

- Japan is one of the fastest growing markets in Asia. Two-way trade between Japan and ASEAN represents 15% person of Japan’s total trade, and that share is growing.

This study covers the operation of the Agreement and its parts related to rules of origin, opportunities of Lao businesses, how to gain access to the market, and useful contacts and resources.

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