HCM CITY — Laos is seeking investors from HCM City and other parts of Viet Nam for important projects to build railways, highways, airports and electricity systems in Vientiane and Champasak Province.
Vientiane has around 200 investment projects that need more than US$1 billion in total, according to Soukanh Mahalath, mayor of Vientiane, who spoke at a recent conference in HCM City on trade relations between the two countries.
He said that he hoped HCM City's investors would invest more in Laos in general and Vientiane in particular.
To increase trade opportunities, more large trade fairs will be organised in both Vientiane and HCM city to create priorities for HCM City investors.
The Champasak Province governor has also urged Vietnamese investors to visit his city to discover investment opportunities.
The province's governor, Sonsay Siphandon, said that HCM City investors played an important role in developing Champasak's economy.
He also confirmed that HCM City investors had invested in nine projects in his province.
Thongloun Sisoulith, deputy prime minister of Laos, said that investment doors in Laos, especially in Vientiane and Champasak, were always open for HCM City investors.
The chairman of HCM City's People's Committee, Le Hoang Quan, said at the conference that the investment and trade between the two countries should be enhanced.
The conference's 500 participants heard updated information on new policies and economic potential in Viet Nam and Laos as well as HCM City, Vientiane and Champasak.
This year, economic relations between HCM City and cities in Laos have further developed.
To date, about 35 HCM City companies have received investment licences for projects in Laos.
The deputy chairwoman of HCM City's People's Committee, Nguyen Thi Hong, said that Laos had not yet invested in projects in Viet Nam, but she expected that they would in the future, and that the city would create priorities for them.
Bilateral trade revenue last year between Laos and Viet Nam totalled US$734 million, up by 50 per cent over 2010.
In the first half of this year, it was $136 million, increasing year-on-year by 66.6 per cent.
The governments of the two countries have agreed to increase the figure to $1 billion this year and $2 billion in 2015.
Viet Nam is the second largest investor in Laos, with 424 projects, worth a total of $3.57 billion. — VNS