Source: Vientiane Times
China overtook Vietnam to reclaim the number one position as the largest foreign investor in Laos last year, according to an annual report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
China’s investment last year soared to over US$1 billion compared to US$88.9 million in 2015 while Vietnam’s investment decreased by US$4.5 million in 2016 after registering US$466 million in 2015.
Most of the investments are focused on the hydropower, mining and agriculture sectors.
Last year, through the ministry, six countries invested over US$1.55 billion in Laos in 25 major projects.
They included direct investment and joint venture projects from China, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand.
In 2015, there were 37 projects worth over US$1.26 billion, the Investment Promotion Department reported, with investors from Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, UK, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.
From 1989 to 2015, China was recorded as the number one foreign investor in Laos followed by Thailand, with Vietnam third and the Republic of Korea fourth.
The total value of China’s investment encompassed 834 projects, worth about US$5.48 billion.
Laos and China have enjoyed a good relationship over many years with leaders from the two countries having cooperated in different development sectors, including assistance with commerce and investment promotion.
To attract more investors, the government has improved the Investment Promotion Policy, making procedures quicker, more transparent and fair, and ensuring that investors have confidence in the system.
The government is also focusing on sustainable development in ways that yield strong benefits for the nation. The government’s vision is to turn Laos from a land-locked country into a land-linked nation. There are now several routes connecting Asean to China such as Road No. 3 (R3) linking Thailand-Laos-China (called the North-South Corridor) and the central East-West Corridor, Road No. 9, connecting Thailand-Laos-Vietnam.