13:19 | 30/07/2016 Economy
(VEN) - Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Souphanh Keomixay, Chairman of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Commission, told Vietnam Economic News that Vietnamese businesses have an effective track record of investment in Laos, significantly contributing to the country’s socioeconomic development during his recent visit to Vietnam.
Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung (right) and his Lao counterpart Souphanh Keomixay
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), domestic businesses have invested in Laos through nearly 300 projects in areas such as industry, agriculture, finance and banking, telecommunications, and real estate, with total registered capital of US$4.9 billion. Laos currently takes the lead among 68 countries and territories receiving Vietnamese investment.
Souphanh Keomixay said Vietnam currently ranked second among nearly 60 countries and territories investing in Laos, and that the Lao government wished to attract more Vietnamese investment in industry, agriculture, and services in the coming period.
According to him, Laos is a country of political stability and national security. The Lao economy has grown continuously in recent years. Its gross domestic product grew 7.5 percent from 2014-2015 and 6.9-7 percent in the first half of this year - a rather high growth rate compared with regional and global averages. Laos is integrating more deeply into the regional and global economies to improve its position in regional and international arenas.
Vietnam and Laos have a longstanding traditional friendship. The two countries in recent years have signed many cooperation agreements in a range of fields, focusing on economics. These included a bilateral cooperation agreement between the two governments for the 2016-2020 period, and the 2016 Vietnam-Laos Trade Agreement, under which the two sides pledged to eliminate tariffs for more than 95 percent of goods present in bilateral trade. The two governments organized a conference on Vietnam-Laos investment cooperation in March to deal with difficulties facing Vietnamese businesses investing in Laos. For these reasons, Laos is considered as an attractive destination for Vietnamese businesses and investors.
However, according to the MPI, investment attraction policies of the Lao government remain inappropriate, inconsistent and still show an overlap between different localities. Moreover, Laos is a country with complicated topography. To invest in Laos successfully, Vietnamese investors need to learn carefully about its laws and topography so that they can choose suitable projects in prioritized areas to invest in.
At a recent meeting between the ministries of planning and investment of the two countries, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the two governments needed to increase contacts and the exchange of information about the progress of Vietnamese investment projects in Laos.
Lao Minister of Planning and Investment Souphanh Keomixay:
The Lao government is willing to create the most favorable conditions for Vietnamese investment projects in Laos to be developed and operate effectively.