Việt Nam, Laos bolster economic, investment ties

September 05, 2022 - 16:42
According to the Lao minister, Việt Nam is currently one of the top three foreign investors in Laos with 417 valid projects valued at US$4.3 billion, with many projects in remote and isolated areas.
Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Khamjane Vongphosy. — VNA/VNS Photo

VIENTIANE — Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Khamjane Vongphosy talked to the Vietnam News Agency on Laos-Việt Nam economic and investment cooperation and measures to further promote bilateral ties in these aspects to match the close political relationship.

The minister made the statement on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relationship and 45 years since the signing of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.

According to the Lao minister, Việt Nam is currently one of the top three foreign investors in Laos with 417 valid projects valued at US$4.3 billion, with many projects in remote and isolated areas.

He praised Việt Nam’s assistance for Laos in researching and drafting policies on agriculture development, along with cooperation and investment in hi-tech agriculture in Laos. He added that the Lao Government is encouraging Vietnamese investment in environmentally-friendly agriculture, citing as examples a project by Hoang Anh Attapeu, and a cow farming project in Xiengkhuang province, which produce good results.

In the field of mining and energy, Việt Nam has implemented several projects based on agreements between the two Governments and Lao laws, the minister said, highlighting Xekamane 1, Xekamane Xansay and Xekamane 3 projects, which he said have contributed significantly to Laos’ budget.

Besides, the Lao Government is working to attract more Vietnamese investment in the service sector, according to Vongphosy. He said many Vietnamese projects in this sector have contributed greatly to socio-economic development and poverty reduction efforts in Laos.

The minister stressed that Laos is carrying out the 9th five-year socio-economic development plan, with a focus on infrastructure connectivity with Việt Nam in line with its strategy of turning land-locked Laos into a connectivity hub of the region. Major projects under the plan are the Vũng Áng Port, the Laos-Việt Nam railway, the Thanaleng dry port and a logistics hub in Vientiane.

According to the Lao minister, as the Vietnamese Government has agreed to let Laos use the Vũng Áng Port to reach out to the sea and international market, the Lao Government aims to turn Vũng Áng into a deep-water port capable of accommodating 100,000-tonne ships, thus enabling Laos to transport goods to third countries at lower costs than by land. When operational, Vũng Áng will become an economic gateway of Laos, he said.

In parallel with developing the Vũng Áng Port, the two governments have agreed to build a railway line connecting Vũng Áng with Thakkek in the central Lao province of Khammoune and Vientiane.

Minister Vongphosy said the railway project is expected to facilitate the development of the infrastructure network for passenger and cargo transport as well as the logistics system, thus reducing transport time and costs.

When completed, the two projects will realise the plan on an East-West economic corridor from Vũng Áng in Việt Nam’s Hà Tĩnh Province through Khammoune in central Laos to northeastern provinces of Thailand.

The minister said the Governments of the two countries have created favourable conditions for the development of bilateral investment-trade ties. The two Ministries of Planning and Investment have held many meetings with Vietnamese investors, and the two Prime Ministers also had a meeting with business communities of the two countries early this year to inquire into their operation and listen to their opinions.

According to him, based on the outcomes of those meetings, the two countries should work to improve the business environment through open policies and administrative reform, attract investment from Vietnamese businesses with financial capacity and modern technology, and continue to quickly handle difficulties faced by each other’s investors. — VNS