U.S. Partners with Lao Government to Strengthen Aircraft Financing

VIENTIANE, Lao PDR – On February 20, approximately forty Lao government officials along with officials from the United States and Vietnam, participated in a seminar on the Cape Town Convention to discuss best practices for strengthening the business environment related to aircraft ownership and financing in the Lao PDR.  This seminar was organized by the U.S. Embassy in partnership with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation’s Department of Civil Aviation, with support from Boeing and GE.

U.S. Ambassador Rena Bitter and Vice Minister Santisouk Simmalavong opened the daylong seminar in Vientiane and encouraged participating government officials, legal experts and business leaders to seize this opportunity to help strengthen the business environment and increase growth of the aviation industry in Lao PDR.

“The Cape Town Convention really is a win-win for all parties. Operators can buy or lease airplanes less expensively, and aircraft manufacturers and lessors gain access to new market opportunities with lower risk,” Ambassador Bitter said at the event. “Ratifying the Cape Town Convention is a tried and true way for countries to foster the expansion of their aviation sector while saving money, boosting tourism, and fostering greater regional integration. That’s precisely why over seventy countries are party to the Convention, including ASEAN countries Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.”

In addition to government officials, business leaders participated from several countries, including ten members of the Lao private sector (banks, legal firms, LNCCI). Speakers included experts representing the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, legal experts from Singaporean law firms, and subject matter experts from Boeing and GE. The Secretary General of the Aviation Working Group, Jeffrey Wool, also called into the event.