Businesses showing the way with major activities in Laos

March 29, 2022 | 14:24
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Infrastructure, tourism, and energy will be the focal point for Vietnam’s outbound investments in Laos, with major ventures newly approved there.
Businesses showing the way with major activities in Laos
Businesses showing the way with major activities in Laos

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung emphasised the importance of Laos for some Vietnamese groups during last week’s visit to the country, which aimed to fulfil the tasks assigned by the prime ministers of Vietnam and Laos at the latest meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on bilateral cooperation.

Highlighted billion-dollar agreements were signed last week. FLC Group and Petroleum Trading Lao Public Company are to work together to develop the Vientiane-Vung Ang railway project connecting the two countries. They will soon construct and develop the railway from the central province of Ha Tinh’s Vung Ang Seaport to the neighbouring province of Quang Binh’s Cha Lo Bordergate, a part of the whole Vientiane-Vung Ang seaport with 400km in length and $5 billion in the total investment.

With experience in successfully implementing and operating large tourism projects across Vietnam, FLC would like to expand the investment strategy on tourism in Laos with large-scale projects. They include an eco-tourism network to encourage the two countries’ tourists to visit each other, according to FLC executive vice chairwoman Huong Tran Kieu Dung.

Meanwhile, T&T Group chose renewable energy as the most promising area to invest in the neighbouring country. The group, in collaboration with Laotian energy producer Phongsubthvy Group, will develop 2,500MW of renewable energy in Laos and distribute it in Vietnam.

T&T Group will directly conduct research, evaluation, selection of contractors, technologies, construction, installation, and consulting in order to meet international standards and ensure the effectiveness of the project. This group is also the focal point connecting competitive and preferential funding sources for renewable energy projects through export credit agencies, multilateral agencies, and commercial banks.

“Accompanying a big company in Laos helps us to quickly grasp the legal frameworks and energy policies in Laos, contributing to selecting feasible projects and quickly implementing T&T Group’s overseas investment plan in energy, reaching the target of generating 12,000-15,000MW by 2030,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh, deputy general director of T&T Group.

By late February, Vietnam ranked third behind China and Thailand in the registered investment capital in Laos with 214 projects capitalised at $5.3 billion.

“In 2021, Vietnam’s outbound investment in Laos was $118.3 million, an increase of 33.3 per cent on-year,” said Minister Dung. “In the first two months of 2022, there was one newly-registered project, and two others adjusted to add $64.3 million in the total investment, which confirms Vietnamese businesses’ active performance in the neighbouring country.”

Viettel, Vietcombank, Vinamilk, and Vietnam Rubber Group have already reported good business results in Laos in their respective fields. The contribution in taxes and other financial obligations of Vietnamese groups to the Laotian government over the past five years is estimated at more than $1 billion.

By Hara Nguyen

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