Announcing: Walsh, John and Nittana Southiseng, “Challenges of Economic Stress on Chinese Entrepreneurs and Their Families in Laos,” Journal of Social and Development Sciences, Vol.2, No.1 (July, 2011), pp.31-7, available at: http://www.ifrnd.org/JSDS/Vol%202/2(1)%20Jul%202011/5.pdf.
Abstract: Chinese are increasing in number in Laos as new inter-governmental agreements permit labour migration for infrastructure development. Entrepreneurs have been accompanying migrants and establishing their own businesses, alongside the long-standing businesses established over the years by ethnic Chinese in the country. Many industrial sectors are involved. Problems that Chinese entrepreneurs might face include language issues and discrimination, as well as lack of business infrastructure and support services. Additionally, Lao consumers are primarily motivated by price alone and have little interest in exploring new brands or products. While these business management related issues are clear, what is not clear is the impact that conducting business on such a basis has on additional family members, who are also commonly employed within the business. Key informants were Chinese entrepreneurs and their family members in the capital city of Vientiane and they were interviewed personally with a view to understanding what stresses there may be on family members doing business in an environment which is not entirely friendly or welcoming, especially under conditions of global economic crisis. Competition is intensifying as increasing numbers of Thai and Vietnamese entrepreneurs are seeking to establish a foothold in the Lao market. Many Chinese entrepreneurs have, as a result of these changing conditions, been forced to offer better deals for customers, thereby restricting profits. This has had a follow-through effect on family members.
Keywords: Economic stress, Chinese entrepreneurs, Laos