Thai company targets slice of Lao construction materials market

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - As the Lao economy continues to record impressive annual growth of 6 percent to 7 percent, numerous foreign firms in the construction materials sector are now keen to expand their operations. 

The Lao government is currently working to improve the business environment through the revision of trade and investment laws and regulations in order to comply with international standards and to attract more foreign trade and investment projects.

Over the past few years, merchants and investors from the region have brought their products to Laos with confidence after the Asean Economic Community (AEC) came into effect in 2015.    

Thai-based Jorakay Corporation Co Ltd, the manufacturer and distributor of the Crocodile brand, it one such firm that has now arrived with an aggressive marketing plan for Laos along with other regional markets such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The company’s Marketing Director, Mr Norawee Sershthin, told Vientiane Times yesterday at the opening ceremony of its Laos Representative Office that he is optimistic of achieving a share of more than 30 percent to 40 percent of the country’s market this year.

“We have been the leader in Thailand for tile adhesives and grout products for over 27 years, and the opening of our representative office in Laos will help our clients get product demonstrations in practical workshop rooms,” he said.

Laos is a major potential market for construction materials as the country needs quality products for the construction of infrastructure and general buildings, he added.

Prior to the launch of the representative office in Laos, the company opened its office in Myanmar and it plans to open similar facilities in Cambodia and Vietnam.

The presence of many Thai companies in Laos also plays a key role in helping the governments of the two countries to achieve annual bilateral trade and investment targets.

Laos and Thailand have committed themselves to increasing bilateral trade by 10 percent to 15 percent annually and the two governments expect to meet the target of US$12 billion in 2021, a senior trade official said recently.

The two governments have also been working hard to promote bilateral trade and investments over the past few years, and are also seeking ways to address Laos’ trade deficit with Thailand.

Laos’ trade deficit stood at US$373 million in the first quarter of 2018 due to a large influx of imported materials for infrastructure and hydropower projects and domestic production, according to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

The opening ceremony for the Laos’ representative office of the Thai firm was attended by the Vice President for Sales of Jorakay Corporation, Mr Yodhin Yamolyong and senior management of the company.

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