Laos buys fewer Thai goods after VAT at Friendship Bridge

Laotians have spent less money on goods in Thailand after Vientiane imposed a 10% value-added tax late last year, a Lao customs official said on January 26. Soutchai Inthavong, deputy chief of the customs international checkpoint at the Friendship Bridge, said the number of Laotians crossing the bridge to Thailand remained unchanged after the Lao government imposed the VAT in November, the Vientiane Times reported on January 26. But he said 80% of them imported fewer goods from Thailand since the new measure took effect. Mr Soutchai did not give any figures, but the website of the Thai Highways Department showed more than 2 million people crossed the bridge from Vientiane to Nong Khai in 2011.

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