Lao PDR joins information technology agreements

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) has become a new participant of both the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and ITA Expansion (ITA II), making it the first least developed country to join these agreements.

Today, Lao PDR announced it had finalized the domestic legislative procedures necessary to implement tariff reduction commitments for IT products covered by the agreements, starting from 1 January 2022. Lao PDR’s schedules of commitments for the ITA and ITA Expansion were previously approved at meetings of the ITA Committee and the 2015 ITA Expansion Group on 17 November.

Through its participation in the ITA and ITA Expansion, Lao PDR will eliminate, as of 1 January 2022, duties on 358 out of 399 ITA-related products, providing immediate market access to foreign exporters of IT products. Furthermore, duties on 523 out of 571 products covered by the 2015 ITA Expansion will be eliminated.