Phongsavanh Group appoints Mekong Group PL and Deloitte to set up the first life and non-life insurance company in Lao PDR
Singapore, 11 March 2016 — Lao PDR’s Phongsavanh Group held a signing ceremony on Wednesday, 9 March, for the partnership agreement to appoint Singapore’s Mekong Group PL and Deloitte & Touche Business Advisory Pte Ltd (Deloitte) to set up the first life and non-life insurance company ‘Phongsavanh Insurance Company (APA)’ in Lao PDR.
With this appointment, Deloitte will conduct a feasibility study to determine the current needs of the local community before setting up the required insurance framework, systems and distribution network to serve both the local population as well as companies doing business in Lao PDR. This is a historic event for the country as it is the first insurance company that is being set up in Lao PDR that will offer both life and non-life insurance products.
The main agreement was signed by Mdm Sengdao Bouphakonekham of APA management team and Mr Chaly Mah, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Southeast Asia. Another agreement to appoint Singapore-based advisor to oversee the establishment of APA was signed by Mr Michael Aw, CEO of the Mekong Group PL and Mdm Sengdao of APA.
Attending the ceremony as honored guests were Mr Dominic Goh, Singapore’s Ambassador to the Lao PDR, and Mr Philip Yuen, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Singapore and other senior executives of Phongsavanh Group.
The Phongsavanh Group (PSVG) is a leading group of companies in Lao PDR with successful pioneering enterprises in banking, oil distribution, airline, logistics, trading, food & beverage, timber and telecommunications. PSVG has played a great and important role in the economic growth story of Lao DPR and this new venture reaffirms their commitment to further promote the development of the economy and support for the community in Lao PDR.
Mekong Group is a Singapore based company with a focus in Lao PDR. They play an advisory role and manage strategic partnerships for Lao PDR companies and state-owned enterprises. In Singapore, they are renowned for their 3T approach (Talent, Technology and Trust), which is also reflected in Mekong Group’s core values.
Deloitte was appointed following a competitive bidding process with two other experienced consultants. “Deloitte not only presented a comprehensive package with competitive pricing, they demonstrated the most responsive and flexible approach towards meeting the needs of community in Lao PDR,” said Mr Steve Chng, Chief Operating Officer, Mekong Group PL.
“We are proud to be appointed by Phongsavanh Group and Mekong Group PL to be part of this pioneering project for Lao PDR. It is an important milestone, and Deloitte’s appointment demonstrates our capabilities as well as in-depth local market knowledge which is crucial when navigating the local business and regulatory environment,” said Mr Chaly Mah, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Southeast Asia.
Lao PDR has been growing rapidly. With an impressive GDP growth rate of 7.5% last year and the government’s commitment to developing a resource-based economy, Lao PDR continues to present many attractive opportunities for businesses.
Mr Raj Juta, Deloitte Southeast Asia Insurance Leader, added “In a country of nearly 7 million people, the potential for growth in the insurance industry for Lao PDR is huge. We believe we have the skills at Deloitte to develop this market and are excited to join with the Phongsavanh Group on their journey to serve this population. These are indeed exciting times for Deloitte as well as Lao PDR and we look forward to working together with Phongsavanh Group here to thrive in this new business landscape.”
Deloitte Southeast Asia also announced yesterday that it has expanded its regional footprint by officially opening its Lao PDR practice. This new practice joined 10 other local practices – Brunei, Guam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – to deliver high quality services to companies operating in or out of the country, drawing on the regional and global expertise within the Deloitte network. Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries.