Vientiane Times, February 13, 2012
Vietnam’s investment in Laos is on track to keep the country atop the list of foreign countries doing business in Laos, which Laos fully supports. Laos will continue to support Vietnam’s bid to maintain this ranking over the next 3 to 5 years, it was revealed at a meeting held in Champassak province on Friday.
Vietnamese investors are currently operating 432 projects in Laos worth US$5.1 billion, and Vietnam ranks first among the 53 countries currently investing in the country.Vietnamese business operations are mainly in the mining sector, valued at US$1.7 billion. In the services sector they are valued at US$1.2 billion, in the energy sector investments are worth US$867.6 million, and in agriculture Vietnamese operations top US$709.6 million.In six central and southern provinces, Vietnamese companies are operating 147 projects worth US$2.9 billion, of which US$460.9 million has been invested in the mining, energy and agriculture sectors.
In his remarks at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Somchith Inthamit said he highly valued the increasing Vietnamese investment in Laos, which is significantly contributing to socio-economic development and helping to improve living conditions. It is the government’s objective to ensure that conditions are favourable for Vietnamese investors in major sectors, and that the investment climate is positive for other Vietnamese businesses considering setting up operations in Laos, he said.
To this end, the government will study the socio-economic situation and development plans to identify the potential in the central and southern provinces, and select possible areas for investment. Despite the increase in the number of investments, the government will oversee all projects and evaluate those already in operation in terms of social and economic development, to determine the difficulties they face and any barriers to their progress.
Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong confirmed the increase in Vietnamese investment in Laos, saying Vietnamese investors are confident that socio-economic development in Laos will help to facilitate their long-term business operations. Vietnam’s President Truong Tan Sang and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, together with Lao Deputy Prime Ministers Dr Thongloun Sisoulith and Mr Somsavat Lengsavad also attended the meeting to hear the positive comments and complaints raised by investors.
Also at the meeting Laos and Vietnam agreed to establish an office to strengthen capacity building in business units, and loan provision for the Viet-Lao Rubber Company, Dak Lak Rubber Company and Hoang Anh Attapeu Joint Stock Company.