Representatives of business community and government organizations took part in a meeting themed “Promote Financial Cooperation, Build Together Laos-China Economic Relations” held on Feb 3 on the sidelines of Laos-China Belt and Road Cooperation Forum (Feb 2-3) in Vientiane.
Laos and Chinese investors discussed several issues on the investment environment in Laos with the participants urging solution to issues related to visa issuance, low rubber prices and limited access to financial assistance.
The participants of the meeting said that the government should seek solutions to issues related to the visa of Chinese investors as it is necessary to ensure that suitable visa issuance procedure is put in place and the visa must be valid for a long time.
Chinese investors have found that they are required to finish a prolonged application process in order to get a visa, according to President of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Laos Boulapha Santikhongkha.
Investors as well as business people want to see their access to financial assistance is facilitated and suggest the establishment of a company or institute that can guarantee loan provision like in China.
“This kind of company or institute will make investors or business people trust the bank to provide them loans,” said Mr Boulapha.
The participants of the meeting also proposed increased investment in tourism basic infrastructure including hotels, apartments and other real estate projects to accommodate the increasing inflow of Chinese visitors.
“As for the rubber issues, the participants said that rubber market is in existence in China right now. However, producers must attach attention to building rubber processing factories and improving processing techniques to create value for rubber produce,” said Mr Boulapha.
The participants also asked the government to consider the possibility of allowing foreign investors to buy real estate such as lands or houses in Laos.
The proposed allowing of real estate acquisition is being considered by relevant sectors, according to Mr Boulapha.
“This forum will be a good opportunity for exchanging points of view on issues including challenges and opportunities related to the development of Laos-China Belt and Road, financial cooperation that promotes the development of Laos-China Belt and Road. However, in order to promote the implementation of the agreements made by the top leaders of the two countries in the financial and banking sector, it is necessary to plan, and seek solutions, mechanisms and appropriate means to promote the initiative,” said Mr Somphao Faisith, Governor of the Bank of Lao PDR.
Five documents were also signed at the meeting which was also participated by Economic and Commerce Consultant of the Chinese Embassy in Laos Wang Xihui, and Director of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Laos) Lu Jian.
The documents promote Laos-China cooperation on money transfer, loan borrowing, business representation, the development of cargo loading areas and logistic facilities, education, and the facilitation of access to employment for students with good schooling performance.
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