CSR in Lao PDR

History of CSR:

  • Lao is a party to several treaties in the field of environmental protection, biodiversity and labour standards.
  • Lao has signed Agreements on the Promotion and Mutually Protection of Investments, which have due regard to the protection of environment.
  • Development projects and concession agreements signed by the Government and investors include terms and conditions related to mitigation of environmental and social impacts.
  • CSR remains an issue of international business in Lao, with very little awareness of the concept among local companies and government, increasing awareness among companies wanting to make international investments, and strong awareness in internationally headquartered companies.
    • Hydropower and  mining  - potential  scale  and  risks associated  with  environmental  and  social  impacts  has  led  to  heightened  awareness  of  CSR  amongst  the public,  government  and  businesses  operating  in  the
    • International financiers  require  borrowers to  go beyond national regulations  and  comply with  strict  international  environmental  and social  safeguard
  • Tourism, coffee and tea demand from international markets is the principal driver of CSR in these three sectors.
  • 2012 – first ever forum to discuss the role of business and CSR

Legal framework and Initiatives:

  1. Child Labour and Forced Labour
    No provision for light work under the labour law and the minimum age for employment is 14 years, there are about 75,231 child labourers in the age group 5-13 years, while the rest (119,394) are aged 14-17 years.
  2. Labour law
    There are shortages of labour at almost every age level in Lao. Employment contracts are mandatory, but rarely used in practice.
  3. Corruption
    Corruption remains a major issue for business in Lao. This year the government has taken a harder stance against it, with the Deputy Prime Minister taking charge of an investigation to help eradicate corruption
  4. Environment
    Chapter 1, Article 4 of Lao Environmental Protection Law states that “All Lao  people,  resident  aliens,  stateless  persons  and  residing  foreigners,  engaged  in any  production or  service  have  a  responsibility  to protect the  environment.”
  5. CSR Law
    There are no current laws dealing explicitly with CSR in Lao PDR.

Good practice:

Companies known for implementing CSR iinclude:

  • Lao Brewery Company Limited
  • Sinouk Coffee Company
  • Nam Theun 2 Power Company
  • Minerals and Metals Group (MMG)

Latest news on CSR:






GIZ and BGR (2015) CSR in Lao PDR: Baseline Assessment of Social and Environmental. Regulations & Standards, Vientiane, February 2015. Vientiane, February 2015.










Author: GEN