New Decree Offers Tax Breaks For Investors in Lao SEZs

Domestic and foreign investors will be granted a number of tax breaks under a new amended decree related to specific and special economic zones (SEZs) issued recently by the government.

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Lease Agreements in Laos: Tips & Hints

One of the most common agreements made in Lao PDR are lease agreements, whether they are for residential accommodation, office or shop space, factory or farm land or any other personal or commercial purposes. However, from time to time, disputes or disagreements may arise from the lease agreement, many of which could have been avoidable through clearly stated terms in a lease contract or a legal review for compliance under Lao PDR law.

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Lao Prime Minister Moves To Stop Land-for-Capital Deals

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith says he wants to end the Lao government’s policy of bartering land for development, in a reversal of a long-term practice that has seen large swaths of the country go to foreign-backed investors.
“The business sector should not convince the governmental sector to create debts for the nation,” Thongloun told the Lao version of the chamber of commerce earlier this month. “In recent years, many big development projects, including ….

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Vientiane Property Market Set To Hot Up

Growth in Vientiane residential house and apartment construction will remain slow for the remainder of this year but is expected to accelerate by 10 percent next year.
Growth is slower because many projects in Laos rely on Chinese investors who are being restrained under the Chinese government’s policy against corruption. This is discouraging investors from ….

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Budget Insufficient To Clean Main Drainage Channels

The main drainage channels in Vientiane need to be cleaned yearly to allow water to flow free and to protect against floods, but some channels were receiving inadequate funding for the work.
The capital has 21 major drainage channels and storm water drains that has to be cleaned and repaired every year.
“The budget should be used to clean and repair all storm water drains and channels several times, but in reality we have to prioritise the …..

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Burglary Number One Crime During Pi Mai Lao

The Vientiane Police Headquarters Office revealed this week that there were 26 cases of crimes committed during the recent long holiday of Pi Mai Lao involving millions of kip.
Before the holiday Police and local security officials had warned the public to be on their guard against opportunist thieves on the streets, vehicle theft and social disorder over Pi Mai Lao and during the period there were ….

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Architectural Masterpiece in Vientiane Available For Rent

One of Vientiane’s architectural masterpieces is available for rent soon. Designed entirely by a landscape architect, The Cube is a home that pushes the limits of modernity unlike almost any other in Laos.
Designed with practicality and leisure in mind, the architect has lent a unique use to every inch of space with all eventualities in mind whilst adhering to an almost scientific definition of beauty.
Its progressive design features a swimming pool as the central, focal point, with large glass window panes flooding the ….

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Quakes Become Matter For Local Concern

Earthquakes have become a concern of Lao people with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport drafting a new building code for construction projects to ensure they meet required safety standards.
The 6.3 magnitude quake that struck northern Thailand early last month and killed one person while injuring several others there, however, created fear amongst the local people living along the Lao border with Thailand despite there having been no serious ….

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Ascott Wins First Franchise Agreement In Vientiane

CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has secured its first franchise agreements in Vientiane, the capital city of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), and Bali, Indonesia. The agreements are for an operating serviced residence in Vientiane that will be rebranded as a 116-unit Somerset Vientiane in the fourth quarter of ….

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One Million Land Titles By 2015 ‘Possible’ Despite Major Funding Gap: Minister

Laos reaching its target of issuing one million land titles by 2015 “is possible”, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Mr Noulin Sinbandith said on Friday.
Work on giving out land titles began in 1997 and since then around 730,000 have been issued.
“The ministry has assigned provinces to pursue the ambitious target [of issuing the remaining 270,000 titles] by 2015,” the Minister told …..

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Vientiane Struggles To Produce Sufficient Water

An under-construction water purification project set for completion late this year will increase water supply coverage from about 71 percent to 85 percent in the capital, a senior official has announced.
The NPNL issued an announcement yesterday in the wake of concern over the insufficient supply of water it currently produces.
The NPNL called for members of the public to exercise economical use of the limited water in order to ensure those in outlining areas and on higher ground would also have enough water for their daily needs.
At present, four purification plants operated by the NPNL are producing 180,000 cubic metres a day – still far short of the current total demand for …..

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Traditional Laotian Homes Get a Second Life

Plans for some land beside the Mekong River changed when Steven Schipani of Bay Shore, New York, and his fiancée, Veomanee, decided to get married. For some time Ms. Veomanee, who, like many in Laos, just uses one name, had intended to use the land for a hotel and spa. But in 2006, with their wedding on the horizon, the couple decided to build a house on the 1.2 acres in the village of Xang Khong in northern Laos.
They both felt that their home should have modern comforts but also reflect local architectural styles. The couple looked around for traditional building materials, and discovered that three families in two nearby villages were planning to discard old homes made from ……

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Chinese Investor Commences Condo Construction at That Luang Marsh

The Chinese developer that invested in the That Luang Marsh Specific Economic Zone (SEZ) in Vientiane is forging ahead with a new phase in the area’s development, constructing 18 condos that will each be as many as 18 storeys high.
Vice president of the zone’s management board, Mr Pheng Inthilath, told Vientiane Times yesterday the soil levelling had already commenced and the laying of the foundations would take place next month.
He said the condos would be available for rent and sale to people of all nationalities once complete. There has already been significant …..

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Ministries To Relocate To City Outskirts

Ten ministries and other public offices are set to be relocated to the Dongmarkkhai area in Vientiane’s Xaythany district under the capital’s urban development master plan.
The move is aimed at addressing rising traffic congestion in Vientiane and shifting development interest from the city centre to the new site, just 20km away. Land authorities have allocated 200ha of land in Dongmarkkhai to accommodate the relocation.
Since the government unveiled the plan for the relocation of public offices to Dongmarkkhai, public interests in buying land plots has shifted to the area. Some people want to buy parcels of land and hold them until they can get a …..

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Vientiane’s Changing Skyline

As Laos slowly engages with the world economy, investors are looking for office space in the capital, where a few ambitious developments are planned.
The sight of new buildings under construction in Southeast Asian capital cities is considered routine, but for Vientiane it is an exciting trend, showing the movement of trade and economic development in Laos. At 150 metres, the Sky Office Building will be the tallest building in Laos and the focal point of the The World Trade Centre in Vientiane.
Given the fact that Laos is not a manufacturing- and services-based country, it is no surprise that its capital city is not yet full of blocks of office buildings like Singapore, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta. But as a new member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since February this year, the ….

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I-Furniture – Vientiane’s Biggest Furniture Showroom

I-Furniture Sole, a subsidiary company of Kolao Group, unveiled its showroom in Vientiane Capital offering a new focus for customers in the country.
The showroom, the biggest of its kind in Laos, has been built on a total area of 18,000 square metres at KM8 on Thadeua Road, Somvang Tai village, Hadsayfong District.
I-Furniture Sole Company will operate its business in the country under the slogan ‘All about furniture’ in collaboration with global companies such as ‘IKEA’ and ‘Livart Furniture”, a Korea’s top general furniture company specialising in

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Vientiane Embankment Nearly Finished

Construction of the 12 kilometre embankment for flood protection in Vientiane will be completed on schedule by December this year.
Nearly two kilometres more needs to be finished and then the project is complete. The workers are carrying this out at Vattay-Yai village in Sikhottabong district.
In addition to providing secure flood protection, the development has given Vientiane an additional and beautiful area of land for residents and visitors to enjoy, from Don Chan Island through Chao Anou Park.
The overall cost of construction is more than ….

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Heritage Architecture Being Lost

Heritage officials have expressed concern over the number of French colonial buildings that have disappeared from the capital due to urbanisation in recent years.
There are growing concerns that much of the colonial architecture in Vientiane, which is part of the national heritage of Laos, is being demolished without permission in order to develop the land, particularly in the city.
The French colonial architecture that has remained in the country since France left Laos is one of the unique attractions of the nation, which continues to attract many tourists to ……

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Land Compensation Tops Parliament Debate

Compensation for lands taken for development projects topped debate in parliament yesterday with law-makers stating that affected people should receive reasonable compensation in order to address the emerging land dispute issue.
Members of the National Assembly (NA) are debating to develop the draft National Land Policy at the assembly’s fifth ordinary session of the NA’s Seventh Legislature.Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Dr Akhom Tounalom, gave a presentation on the draft process to the NA, opening the floor for debate.
The parliamentarians welcomed the draft policy, which indicates that compensation for …..

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Police Warn Of Rainy Season Thefts

Vientiane Police Office has warned government departments and private businesses to be more wary of office security during the rainy season after a recent spate of thefts.
Vientiane Police Chief said the wet weather sometimes meant security guards spent less time inspecting premises at night, which has led to the theft of valuables from offices becoming a major problem. “Thieves will take the opportunity when ….

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Bangkok Office Cheapest In Asia Pacific

Bangkok became the cheapest office location in Asia Pacific despite the increase in average rents by 5.3 per cent year-on-year for prime grade A CBD office buildings. In contrast, Hong Kong remained the highest priced market in the world for the third consecutive year, with three other Asian markets including Hong Kong-West Kowloon and Tokyo in the top five most expensive office locations – reflecting the growing dominance of the region in the global economic scene.
Out of the 127 cities surveyed, Bangkok was ranked at 115th, with the rent of Bt842 per square metre per month. It is 12 positions below Manila and 69 positions below Jakarta, becoming the cheapest in Asia Pacific.
“Bangkok office rents increased for both

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In Laos, Luxury Market Takes Flight

The Emperor House Co Ltd, the Thai builder of luxury homes, has teamed up with Laotian conglomerate the Insee Group to tap the luxury self-built home market in Laos, expecting to sell two houses worth almost 120 million baht this year.
“Housing demand in the luxury segment exists mainly in Vientiane,” said Mr Manotham during a visit to Bangkok yesterday. He said the average house price for the Laotian luxury segment is $2 million or 59.8 million baht….

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Increasing HIV Infection Challenges Gov’t Reduction Target

Between 1990 and June 2012, over 5,260 out of 334,876 people who were given blood check were identified HIV positive and other 3,282 people were living with AIDS.
1,334 people died of the disease during the period adding Vientiane was ranked first as a province with highest number of HIV infected people (1,873 people), followed by Savannakhet 1,793, and Champassack 552.

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First High Rise Luxury Apartments Set To Transform Vientiane

CAMCE Investment (Lao) Co Ltd plans to invest a massive amount of money on its major real estate project in Laos, which will see the first international standard high rise residences in Vientiane emerge along the Mekong riverfront.
According to the Vientiane New World project concept plan, the international residence centre will be located in the same precinct as the businesses, shopping and entertainment centre, making the lives of people living in the area more comfortable and enjoyable.
One of the best things is that …

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Stallions To Develop Minibike Factory In Laos

Stallions, the Thai minibike brand, will open a factory in Laos next year to serve as a production base for exports to other Asean countries.
Motor World Import-Export will this year open 11 more branches nationwide in Laos on top of its existing three in Vientiane to support its growth. “We believe we’ll be the leader in niche motorcycles in the Lao market soon,” said Mr Kittipong..“ Motor World Import-Export will this year open 11 more branches nationwide in Laos on top of its existing three in Vientiane to support its growth. “Lao incomes are rising due …..

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Vientiane New World: Glory of Laos (II)

In the next six to eight years people will see a new face of Vientiane as Don Chan Island along the Mekong River develops into a modern urban area complete with a pedestrian zone.
CAMCE, the Lao-Chinese joint venture developing the area, plans to invest over US$600 million to turn 42 hectares of Don Chan Island along the Mekong River in Vientiane into the first international residence area, the first international business centre, as well as an international cultural and tourist centre where Lao people can take their family, friends and loved ones to shop, dine and enjoy local and international movies.

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Soaring Land Prices In Vientiane: up to $3,500 per square meter

With the city developing at a rapid pace, the real estate prices are soaring in Vientiane. In prime business areas of the capital the prices are around $2,700 to $3,500 per square meter; the prices are expected to keep rising.
By comparison, in residential areas of Vientiane, one square meter goes for between $500 and $700, and in rural areas nearby, between $15 and $50.

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Termite Trouble

I didn’t hear chewing noises in the night, I wasn’t watching walls disappear before my eyes, but I did have termites eating their way through my house. At first it’s hard to tell, but a number of signs had me convinced. One day I came home and found some small mounds at the bottom of some of my door and window frames. Similar mounds appeared on the bathroom walls. These are called ‘pellet piles’ and they are in fact fecal waste from termites. Nice to know they were leaving me these presents around the house!

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French And Lao Colonial Buildings In Vientiane

While touring through Vientiane one will encounter French colonial Villas and administration buildings, old Lao town houses, hidden and forgotten shrines of Vientiane’s guardian deities, small spirit houses and famous temples.
Among those last ones are Wat Si Muang – where the city pillar of Vientiane is located -, Wat Sisaket – which miraculously survived the Siamese invasion -, or Wat Ho Phra Keo, the former temple of the revered Emerald Buddha.

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Dog Vs. Snake

As we all know, Laos is home to many rare and unique animals including tigers, black bears, elephants, deer, dolphins, gibbons, giant catfish and crocodiles. Luckily most of these won’t turn up in your backyard.

What I personally wasn’t aware of, however, is that Laos is also home to some of the most dangerous snakes in the world. Coming originally from a “cold” country, I’m still trying to get used to the idea of having to share my garden with venomous cobras and vipers.

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Firemen Issue Warning To Property Owners

Vientiane fire brigade on Thursday issued a stern warning to property owners to replace old electrical cables in their buildings to prevent the outbreak of fire.

According to the brigade, poorly maintained or damaged electrical cables and equipment is now one of the leading causes of fire and is destroying houses in Vientiane almost every day.

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Mythbusting – ‘foreigner areas’ more secure?

Some people believe that by living in an area of Vientiane with a high volume of foreigners, or in a compound style property, their home and belongings will be more secure. Whilst at first it may feel comfortable to live amongst one’s own, this does not necessarily guarantee security. In fact, quite the opposite is often true. If the majority of houses in an area are rented by foreigners, this means

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