Sary Tatpaporn*, Buasawan Simmala**
**Lao PDR; Wisconsin, USA
The US and Lao PDR signed the Bilateral Trade Agreement in September 2003. The US Congress passed the NTR legislation to ratify the agreement in November and the President Bush signed it into law in December 2004.
This historical trade agreement paves the way for both American and Lao businesses the opportunities to trade and investment between the two countries. However, the US-Laos trade and investment are very new emerging opportunities with no existing resources and infrastructure. The following are major points for both the opportunities and challenges for the business people to consider.
US is biggest world economy
500,000 strong Laotian-Americans
US serves as a sources for funding, professional skills and technologies to Laos
Existing and emerging Lao-American entrepreneurship
Lao-American investments in Laos
Young Laotian-American professionals and entrepreneurs
New comer and has to compete with the existing network of other Asian businesses
Political factionalism of Laotian-Americans in the United States
Quality of goods and products from Laos and the price
Business ethic and professionalism of Lao business people in Laos
Distribution channel of goods through out the US
Creation of national network of Laotian-American businesses who are interested to engage in US-Laos trade and investment opportunities. (US-Laos Trade and Investment Group) to promote the trading and investment opportunities and address the emerging issues.
Organize the conference and seminars to attract the mainstream American corporations and businesses to invest and trade with Laos.