Laos receives $2b private investments

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Construction of the Nam Theun 2 hydropower dam in Laos

The Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment has approved private investments worth $2 billion in the first half of the country’s fiscal year from October 2011 to March 2012, according to a release by the ministry obtained by Inside Investor.

The statement said that the ministry has authorised 98 domestic and foreign investment projects at a combined value of $2 billion, exceeding the original forecast of $1.5 billion for the entire fiscal year by far.

The increase was attributed to improved services provided for investors, namely the new one-stop registration facility launched in October last year to quickly obtain concessions.

Mining, hydropower and agriculture remained the top three industries of choice for investors in the first half of the fiscal year. According to the ministry, the most significant investment projects are the $1.3 billion iron ore mining operation in the southern province of Xekong and the $199 million Xepian-Xenamnoy hydropower project in Champassak province.

The largest foreign investors in Laos are currently China, Thailand and Vietnam, with Vietnam having stepped up its investments substantially in the recent past.

In June 2012, Vietnam had 214 projects in Laos with a total investment of $3.45 billion, ranking it as the biggest investor out of 60 other countries and territories in the period, according to Vietnam’s Planning and Investment deputy minister Cao Viet Sinh’s statements at the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation and Investment Conference in Da Nang City on July 7.

At the same conferenc, Bui Quang Vinh, Vietnam’s minister of Planning and Investment, said that Vietnam expects to invest $7 billion in Laos by 2015, surpassing China and Thailand.

“The two nations feel somehow obliged to each other as the two communist governments have very close ties,” Suprakit Pranakorn, a stock broker and economic analyst based in Bangkok, told Inside Investor.

Both nations recently also announced a joint investment in communist-led Cuba as reported by Inside Investor.

Vietnamese investors in Laos have focused on energy, planting of industrial trees and mineral exploitation. Businesses have also cooperated with local municipalities to spend tens of millions of dollars in charitable activities such as building of schools, health clinics, roads and houses.

Laos has also set up the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone in Savannakhet province meant as a trade and services hub along the East-West Corridor linking Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

The landlocked country experienced a significant  economic growth of 7.9 per cent in 2011. Compared to Myanmar, Laos has similar resources and strengths but is about one-third the size and has one-seventh the population. However, Laos has the advantage of more developed infrastructure and a more advanced legal system.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Construction of the Nam Theun 2 hydropower dam in Laos

The Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment has approved private investments worth $2 billion in the first half of the country’s fiscal year from October 2011 to March 2012, according to a release by the ministry obtained by Inside Investor.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Construction of the Nam Theun 2 hydropower dam in Laos

The Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment has approved private investments worth $2 billion in the first half of the country’s fiscal year from October 2011 to March 2012, according to a release by the ministry obtained by Inside Investor.

The statement said that the ministry has authorised 98 domestic and foreign investment projects at a combined value of $2 billion, exceeding the original forecast of $1.5 billion for the entire fiscal year by far.

The increase was attributed to improved services provided for investors, namely the new one-stop registration facility launched in October last year to quickly obtain concessions.

Mining, hydropower and agriculture remained the top three industries of choice for investors in the first half of the fiscal year. According to the ministry, the most significant investment projects are the $1.3 billion iron ore mining operation in the southern province of Xekong and the $199 million Xepian-Xenamnoy hydropower project in Champassak province.

The largest foreign investors in Laos are currently China, Thailand and Vietnam, with Vietnam having stepped up its investments substantially in the recent past.

In June 2012, Vietnam had 214 projects in Laos with a total investment of $3.45 billion, ranking it as the biggest investor out of 60 other countries and territories in the period, according to Vietnam’s Planning and Investment deputy minister Cao Viet Sinh’s statements at the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation and Investment Conference in Da Nang City on July 7.

At the same conferenc, Bui Quang Vinh, Vietnam’s minister of Planning and Investment, said that Vietnam expects to invest $7 billion in Laos by 2015, surpassing China and Thailand.

“The two nations feel somehow obliged to each other as the two communist governments have very close ties,” Suprakit Pranakorn, a stock broker and economic analyst based in Bangkok, told Inside Investor.

Both nations recently also announced a joint investment in communist-led Cuba as reported by Inside Investor.

Vietnamese investors in Laos have focused on energy, planting of industrial trees and mineral exploitation. Businesses have also cooperated with local municipalities to spend tens of millions of dollars in charitable activities such as building of schools, health clinics, roads and houses.

Laos has also set up the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone in Savannakhet province meant as a trade and services hub along the East-West Corridor linking Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

The landlocked country experienced a significant  economic growth of 7.9 per cent in 2011. Compared to Myanmar, Laos has similar resources and strengths but is about one-third the size and has one-seventh the population. However, Laos has the advantage of more developed infrastructure and a more advanced legal system.

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