Chinese entrepreneurs in Laos’ capital Vientiane are allegedly importing vehicles from China illegally for car rental and taxi businesses, much to the ire of their Lao competitors, RFA learned Friday.
The cars imported from China are typically luxury vehicles and the firms are designed to serve Chinese tourists.
An official of Vientiane’s Industry and Trade Department told RFA’s Lao Service Thursday lots of the imported cars never have been properly registered.
“There are many cars with Chinese license plates playing around,” the state said.
“According to the rules, the vehicles must be documented and also have Lao license plates,” the official added.
According to the official, Lao license plates for rental cars can only just be obtained when the owner has a valid business license, suggesting that the owners of the cars with Chinese plates skipped from registering their businesses.
The official from Vientiane’s transportation department however validated to RFA that the Chinese-plated cars were actually legal.
“The Chinese cars are legally imported from China. They still have Chinese license plates because they are along the way of being recorded,” said the transportation official.
But even though official’s account, who owns a Lao car rental company told RFA said he believed the contrary.
“There are lots of Chinese car rental companies in the town and almost all of their cars are luxury models illegally imported from China,” the dog owner said.
He also said that the Chinese companies only serve Chinese visitors and businesspeople, even illegally selling the cars in Laos.
An official from the city’s planning and investment department told RFA that the Chinese businesses had a sizable presence in the administrative centre.
“There are many Chinese car rental operations in the administrative centre. At least 10. Most of their cars are Mercedes Benzes and Toyotas,” the official said.
A taxi driver said the new Chinese taxis were harmful to Lao drivers.
“The authorities shouldn’t allow foreigners to get this done kind of business and eliminate our jobs, nevertheless they did,” he said.
He added that the federal government must do something to reserve car rental and taxi driving jobs for Laotians.
Article 11 of the Lao transfer law states that vehicles owned by individuals or businesses that providing services in the united states must be properly registered with the Lao authorities and having proper license plates.
Reported and translated by RFA’s Lao Service. Written in English by Eugene Whong.