The Lao economy, like those around the world, is hunting for reasonable ways to get the money machine rolling during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the upcoming “Made in Laos” 2020 fair looks like a logical move.
According to the Vientiane Times, the expo, being held at Vientiane’s Lao-ITECC from 25 December though 3 January, aims to present a platform to boost domestic consumption by promoting “Made in Laos” products.
Spearheaded by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), the event will feature more than 100 Lao companies showcasing their goods.
LNCCI’s Vice President Chanthachone Vongsay said, “This will be a platform to promote domestic products and create awareness among the public about using more Lao goods, travelling more within Laos, and other activities,”
She emphasized that the fair’s underlying goal is to help restore and promote the Lao economy during the Covid-19 crisis.
The “Made in Laos” exhibition runs on the back of the Lao Thiao Lao campaign that is promoting domestic tourism, while raising awareness among the population of the many attractions and activities throughout the country, of which they may be unaware.
However, the demand for domestic tourism in Laos pales compared to its neighbours such as Thailand and Vietnam, most likely due to income disparity. Still, travel-related businesses that remain open, are happy to settle for even a small number of visitors, and are offering major discounts, from small hotels to Lao Airlines.
In some senses, the “Made in Laos” drive is more practical than domestic travel, not least of which is cost. The country produces everything from hand-crafted household items to food items to fashionable clothes and accessories. Made in Laos is also the second most visited page on WeAreLao.com. Plus the timing for the fair is right, as it occurs during the New Year’s holiday season, when friends and family are seeking gifts.
For those living outside the capital, fear not, as “Made in Laos” products are available in shops in the country’s population centres, and many sell at reduced prices. Now is the time to buy – discounts, gifts, personal items, housewares – and buying local will help the Lao economy during these tough times.