Building permit workshop proves constructive for public, private sectors

Vientiane and government authorities have raised awareness about new reforms for dealing with construction permits and ensuring their consistent implementation among local officials and businesses in the capital’s four main districts.

The Vientiane Administration in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport held the “Regulatory Reforms for Obtaining Construction Permits’ workshop on Friday with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and funding from the Japanese government. The workshop aimed to carry on efforts to enhance the regulatory environment for the business community covering construction management and standards of warehouses and gas station regulations enacted in January 2019.

The reforms have simplified documentation requirements and the approval process, reducing the time needed to obtain construction permits from 83 days to 30 days, and introduced a unified application for inspections carried out after the
completion of construction. The reforms also allow more public access to information, especially from the ministry’s website (, where construction permit applications can also be downloaded.

Speaking at the event, the Vice Mayor of Vientiane, Mr Phoukhong Bannavong, said the workshop allowed the public and private sectors to understand the streamlined construction permit approval process and ensure its consistent implementation. “This is also important to comply with city planning regulations as well as meeting the highest architectural and construction standards,” he said. All administrative levels of government have been working together to implement Prime Minister’s Order No. 2, dated February 1, 2018, regarding improving the regulatory environment to lift Laos’ ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.

Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ms Vilaykham Phosalath, said the ministry would continue to improve regulations and standards while closely cooperating with all stakeholders, especially local authorities and the private sector, to effectively implement the new reforms. Last year, the ministry set up the Council of Lao Architects and Civil Engineers and has been developing a professional accreditation system in the construction sector in line with international standards. The establishment of the council enables Lao architects and engineers, who design, inspect and manage the quality standards of construction, to be certified with a professional license.

Head of the IFC Office to Laos, Mr Phongsavanh Phomkong, congratulated the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Vientiane Administration and other involved agencies on their efforts. “The government has demonstrated its commitment to improving the business climate for private enterprises, including construction permit regulations. It is important to accelerate reform and ensure positive changes on the ground. We look forward to continued improvement in the business environment in Laos,” he said.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 11, 2020)
Source: Vientiane Times Newspaper, dated 11 Feb 2020