Lao officials equipping themselves with HS implementation capacity

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 15 December 2017 - To further strengthen the capacity of Lao PDR government officials on trade analysis and transposition schedules, the training on Transposition of AANZFTA Tariff Reduction Schedules from the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) 2012 to 2017 was conducted on December 11 - 15 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Vientiane. The training, built on Lao officials skills in the area of HS tariff nomenclature transposition, provided a tool kit to enable Lao officials to fully participate in future HS transpositions. This also ensures that existing concessions in Laos free trade agreements and its commitments in the World Trade Organization (WTO) are maintained.

The training, attended by officials from a range of Lao PDR government agencies with responsibility for HS transposition, aimed to build basic technical skills on tariff schedules and conducting economic analysis. The training was an intensive exercise with participants undertaking simulation to practice transposition skills, as well as broader tariff and trade data analysis. Lao PDR officials also presented their progress with the draft transposition of Lao PDRs AANZFTA tariff reduction schedule from HS2012 to HS2017.

Deputy Director General Saysana Sayakone from the Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR expressed his appreciation and emphasized the value of applying the lessons shared from the training to the participants respective work. "This training has been designed to be practical with exercises to provide skills, encourage participant and exchange information," added Deputy Director General Sayakone. He also added that this training will help in equipping the participants on basic trade analysis particularly in preparing relevant tariff offers.

This is the 3rd training on trade data analysis and transposition schedules conducted for Lao PDR. In October 2012, the first training on Transposition of AANZFTA Tariff Reduction Schedules from the 2007 version of the Harmonized System to HS 2012 was conducted to assist and equip Lao officials with knowledge and technical skills required for transposing national and preferential tariff schedules. This was followed by the Training on Tariff and Trade Data Analysis in March 2015 which included an overview of the tariff schedules and roles of tariff and trade data analysis in tariff negotiations, and assessment of trade agreements and the HS nomenclature in tariff schedules and trade statistics.

Paul Gibbons, Director of the South-East Asia Goods Branch of the Free Trade Agreement Division from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that Lao Government Officials now have the tools to efficiently and effectively complete HS transposition of its various Tariff Schedules.

The event was hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR in coordination with the ASEAN Secretariat with support from the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program (AECSP).

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