Department of foreign trade policy

Roles and Functions

Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Peace Independence Democracy Unity Prosperity

Ministry of Industry and Commerce
No. 0766/PM
Vientiane Capital, 13 December 2017

Decision
on the Organization and Operation of the Department of Foreign Trade Policy

  • According to Prime Minister’s Decree on the Organization and Operation of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce No.230/PM, 24 July 2017.
  • According to the proposal of the Foreign Trade Policy Department and the agreement of the Department of Organization and Personnel, Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Minister of Industry and Commerce issues a decision:

Chapter I

General Principles

Article 1 Purpose

This Decision is issued to define the location, roles, duties, rights, organizational structure and working method as the legal basis for the organization and operation of the Foreign Trade Policy Department aiming at effectively implementing the Party and State policies regarding foreign trade policy in the areas of industry and commerce in order to contribute to the development of the industry and commerce sector.

Article 2 Location and Role

Department of Foreign Trade Policy, the abbreviation is “FTPD”, is a part of the organizational structure of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

The Department Trade Policy plays an advisory role for the Minister of Industry and Commerce with respect to foreign trade policies, negotiations under various scopes of trade agreements and cooperation in the field of industry and regional and international economic integration.

Chapter II

Duties

Article 3 Duties

The Foreign Trade Policy Department has the following duties:

  1. Play a central role of reviewing of trade policy including international trade negotiations strategy and regional and international economic integration.
  2. Play a central role in establishing internal regulations related trading obligation including anti-dumping measure and Anti-Subsidy Measure, protect producers of domestic products by importing goods and e-commerce
  3. Research and represent the policy and standpoint of Lao PDR in negotiations under various trade agreements;
  4. Play a central role in protecting the effective of trade agreement and presenting policies and measures to support private sector and citizen affected
  5. Encourage, follow and inspect the implementation of trade agreement which Lao PDR is party
  6. Follow and inspect the implementation of participated countries
  7. Summarize reports and disseminate trade negotiation results various trade agreement;
  8. Play a central role in coordinating with representative economic advisor in foreign country regarding international economic integration
  9. Play a central role in carrying out tasks related to WTO, ASEAN Economic Ministers (SEOM), ASEAN dialogue partners and those under Asia-Pacific frameworks (APTA) and other trade agreements to which Lao PDR is a party to;
  10. Take an advantage of supporting from foreign country and international organization that related trade negotiation which Lao PDR is party including economic cooperation, technical and implementation;
  11. Develop and maintenance information center that related international economic integration;
  12. Research and provide recommendation on all documents that relevant divisions request;
  13. Coordinate and provide technical advice regarding implementation of trade agreement which lao PDR is a party to capital and provincial industry and commerce and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  14. Practice and training personnel of Department in compliance the State’s Law and Regulation;
  15. Exercise other rights and carry out duties as assigned by the Minister of Industry and Commerce or the Government.;

Article 4 Scope of Rights

The Foreign Trade Policy Department has the following Scope of Rights:

  1. Play a central role to negotiate trade relation under Bilateral, Regional, Multilateral and E-commerce. Attending the meeting Economic cooperation in the field of industry and commerce with foreign countries.
  2. Protect trade benefits of Lao PDR with relevant sectors to resolve trade disputes
  3. Support the progress of the Department personnel based on their knowledge and competency in a fair and equitable manner;
  4. Develop the knowledge and competency for Department’s personnel required to carry out tasks effectively;
  5. Relation, cooperation with foreign countries and international organizations according to the Department’s Role and Function;
  6. Issue decision, order and notification and intoducction to the relevant sectors to focus on managing its trade policies. Agree, sign and stamp within its scope;
  7. Using budgets, vihicles and office supplies to Department’s personnels to implement the project;
  8. Prosed appointment, transfer, complicate, praise, implement policies and discipline of the civil servent in compliance with the regulation. To proposed the staff of the department to visiting, study tours, training and furthur study both internal and aboard.
  9. Propose to improve the organizational structure of the Department, along with its duties, scope and responsibilities; Improve and create a draft regulation of activities within the Department; Provide the necessary measures to ensure the function of the Department;
  10. Dafting legal, order, notification to manage task by the Role and Functiuon; Issuing notifications and advices on behalf of the concerned ministries and directives to the relevant parties; Monitor and monitor the progress of the agreement and the comments
  11. Using other rights as assigned by the Minister or as required by law and regulations.

Chapter III

Organizational Structure

Article 5 Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of the Foreign Trade Policy Department comprises of 6 divisions:

  1. General Affairs Division;
  2. Multilateral Trade Division;
  3. Trade Rules and Compliance Divisions;
  4. Regional Economic Cooperation Division;
  5. Trade in Goods Division;
  6. Trade in Services Division.

Article 6 Personnel Structure

Personnel structure of the Department of Foreign Trade Policy is comprised of: The Director General, Deputy-Director Generals, Directors of Divisions, Deputy-Director of Divisions, and Technical Staffs in each position as determined by the department.

The personnel have these responsibilities:

  1. The Director General is directly and completely responsible for all achievements and shortcomings in the implementation of the functions, rights, duties as stipulated in the article 2, 3 and 4 of this agreement;
  2. The Deputy Director Generals are responsible for the achievements and shortcomings of the certain tasks as assigned by the Director General;
  3. The Directors of Division, and Deputy-Directors of Division, and technical staffs are responsible for all achievements and shortcomings of their assigned duties.

Assignment to act on behalf shall be done in a written form

Chapter IV

Functions of Divisions

Article 7 Functions of Divisions

7.1 General Affairs Division

  1. To responsible for secretarial duties of the department including to keep a log of document flows and to assist the Director Generals to monitor, enhance, record and summarize the implementation outcome of the department;
  2. To be directly responsible for management of organization and personnel as well as human resource development of the department;
  3. To be responsible for protocol affairs and public relations;
  4. To draw up [plans], monitor and summarize the implantation, and to carry out a weekly, monthly, quarterly, six months, and annual reports;
  5. To study and create a budget plan for the department, manage the spending, and summarize the budget implementation;
  6. To be centrally responsible for management of official development assistance (ODA) projects of the department and responsible for economic cooperation;
  7. To responsible for parchments of the department
  8. To study and summarize comments of the divisions on the documents regarding the department’s affairs
  9. To cooperate with the divisions and other concerned sectors in order to disseminate the international integration and other affairs of the department;
  10. To summarize and provide information with regard to the divisions’ and department’s affairs;
  11. To manage the department’s property (equipment, vehicles, and others);
  12. To be responsible for the management and development of the information center of the department;
  13. To Implement other duties as agreed and assigned by the Director General.

7.2 Multilateral Trade Division

  1. To research, review, and propose a policy and strategy for negotiation in a multilateral trade agreement in consultation with other concerned sectors;
  2. To play a central role in multilateral trade negation in World Trade Organization – WTO frameworks;
  3. To be responsible for researching and coordinating with other concerned sectors in order to review, draft a regulation and to monitor the implementation of trade remedies within [the integration under] multilateral trade agreements;
  4. To be responsible for researching and coordinating with other concerned sectors in order to make a Lao trade policy review [regarding integration] under the WTO;
  5. To notify the WTO secretariat about revision or issuance of measure and law under commitments to the WTO;
  6. To be a focal point to the representative office in Geneva, in the affairs of the WTO;
  7. To coordinate and cooperate with the WTO Secretariat as well as the WTO’s members in the affairs regarding multilateral trade integration;
  8. To coordinate with the divisions and other related sectors to disseminate and enhance the implementation of the commitments of Lao PDR under multilateral trade integration;
  9. To be a coordinator for the related departments whose duties are on economic integration under multilateral trade integration;
  10. To responsible for cooperation mechanism under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between Lao PDR and the United State;
  11. To be responsible for cooperation mechanism and technical assistance under multilateral trade integrations;
  12. To compile and provide information with regards to the division’s duties;
  13. To Implement other duties as agreed and assigned by the Director General.

7.3 Trade Rule and Compliance Division

  1. To research, review, and propose policies and strategies for bilateral trade negotiation in consultation with other concerned sectors;
  2. To be responsible to handle legal negotiation for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in cooperation with other concerned sectors;
  3. To be responsible for E-commerce negotiation in cooperation with other concerned sectors;
  4. To study and inspect the consistency between domestic laws and regulations and the commitments from trade agreements that Lao PDR has been a party to;
  5. To be a key player to process and coordinate with concerned sectors to engage in trade dispute settlement with regard to trade agreements that Lao PDR has been a party to, in order to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Laotian Business as well as the Laotian economy.
  6. To carry out the ratification process for the trade agreement signed by the government under the scope of function of the Department of Foreign Trade Policy, as well as accession to an international trade agreement;
  7. To create policies and legislation regarding E-commerce in consultation with concerned sectors;
  8. to compile and provide information with regard to the affairs of the division; and
  9. To Implement other duties as agreed and assigned by the Director General.

7.4 Regional Economic Division

  1. To research, review, and propose policies and strategies for regional and sub-regional trade negotiations in consultation with other concerned sectors;
  2. To enhance, monitor, and summarize the commitments implementation of Lao PDR, ASEAN members, and dialogue partners under regional or sub-regional trade agreements, which Lao PDR has been a party to;
  3. To notify the ASEAN Secretariat or other focal points of the dialogue partners about laws and regulations revision or creation, that relate to the regional and sub-regional trade agreements that Lao PDR has been a party to;
  4. To coordinate and cooperate with the ASEAN Secretariat and sub-regional trade agreement secretariats as well as the ASEAN members, members of the regional and sub-regional trade agreement on affairs regarding sub-regional and regional economic cooperation;
  5. To coordinate with the divisions and other concerned sectors to disseminate, enhance, monitor the implementation of the trade agreements under ASEAN economic cooperation, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, and other sub-regional cooperation;
  6. To be responsible for and be a focal point for affairs under the SEOM, AEM, ASEAN Summit, ASEAN Dialogue Partner, ASEM, others;
  7. To be a focal point for the national unit of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA);
  8. To be responsible for and be a focal point for affairs regarding international cooperation and technical assistance under regional and sub-region economic cooperation;
  9. To monitor the implementation of the economic cooperation under the ASEAN Economic Community in order to report to the government in an appropriate manner;
  10. To compile and provide information regarding the affairs of the division; and
  11. To Implement other duties as agreed and assigned by the Director General.

7.5 Trade in Goods Division

  1. To research, review, and propose policies and strategies for the negotiation of trade in goods, in particular, product list and tariff rate which is going to be liberalized in collaboration with relevant sectors.
  2. To research, review, and propose policies and strategies for the negotiation of Rule of Origin and non-tariff barriers in collaboration with relevant sectors.
  3. To be responsible for and be a focal point for negotiation of trade in goods, Rule of Origin, non-tariff measures, and trade facilitation under the trade agreements in collaboration with relevant sectors;
  4. To monitor, enhance, and summarize the implementation of trade in goods liberalization, Rule of Origins, non-tariffs measures, and trade facilitation under the trade agreements in collaboration with relevant sectors;
  5. To notify the WTO Secretariat, ASEAN Secretariat, and other relevant dialogue partners on the revision and issuance of laws affecting trade in goods including information relating to Sanitary-Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT);
  6. To play a central role in researching the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) granted by other countries to Lao PDR as well as to monitor the implementation;
  7. To compile and provide information on the activities of the division;
  8. To Implement other duties as agreed and assigned by the Director General.

7.6 Trade in Services

  1. To research, review, and propose policies and strategies with respect to negotiations on trade in services and investment in service in collaboration with relevant sectors;
  2. To research and formulate a list of commitments on trade in services in collaboration with relevant sectors;
  3. To attend negotiation meetings on trade and investment in services of Lao PDR in cooperation with relevant sectors
  4. Follow up and support the implementation of commitments on trade and investment of Lao PDR under multilateral, bilateral, regional and sub-regional frameworks;
  5. To play a central role to develop and manage the Lao Trade Service Portal;
  6. To notify the WTO Secretariat, ASEAN Secretariat, APTA Secretariat and other relevant dialogue partners on the revision and issuance of regulations and laws affecting trade and investment in services as well as to be an inquiry point regarding trade in services;
  7. to compile and provide information on the activities of the division;
  8. Implement other duties as agreed and assigned by the Director General.

Chapter V

Working Principles and Approaches

Article 8 Working Principles

All operations of the Department of Foreign Trade Policy shall be performed according to the following principles:

  1. To Implement democratic centralism principles, one leader regime, lead as a team, promote the creativity of civil servants, divide work among individuals in detail;
  2. All activity and operation shall be conducted in accordance with the Law, regulation, the ministry, principle and to actualize the Party’s and the government’s policy, and the strategy and development plans;

Article 9 Working Approaches

  1. Work according to detailed plans, prioritize work and handle the detailed problems with targets in each period;
  2. Perform duties on the basis of strong coordination, agreement within and between the Department and concerned sectors, turn to local level regularly, aiming at using overall forces to fulfill assignments;
  3. All duties shall be monitored, inspected, evaluated, enhanced, promoted and appraised in each period and to comply with meeting regime, to report, inform to and ask for advices from the higher level;

Chapter VI

Implementation

Article 10 The Budget and Stamp

The Department of Foreign Trade Policy has its budget and seal for its operations under its rights, duties, and scope of function.

Article 11 Implementation

The Department of Foreign Trade Policy, line departments, provincial departments and district offices of industry and commerce shall acknowledge and implement this decision strictly.

Article 12 Effectiveness

This Decision shall enter into force from the date of signing and supersede the Decision No.1164/MIOC, dated 01 July 2018 on the Organization and Operation of the Department of Foreign Trade Policy.

Minister of the ministry of Industry and Commerce
Khemmani Pholsena