Vientiane Vows To Improve Investment Climate To Drive Growth

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The Vientiane administration has vowed to improve the investment climate to attract more private investment and facilitate business operations as part of measures to achieve 10.5 percent economic growth.

The Vientiane People’s Council recently approved the city’s 2018 socio-economic development plan, which set the growth target.

The measures presented by the Vientiane administration were also passed by the council’s 4th ordinary session.

Director of the Vientiane Planning and Investment Department, Mr Phoukhong Bannavong, told the session the administration would create conditions conducive for investment and business operations in line with the laws and regulations.

The administration will take thorough action to implement the investment and trade promotion policy, while delivering good governance.

“The one-stop service mechanism must be improved,” he said.

Detailing the measures, the administration pledged to intensify action to ensure effective management of state investment projects in line with the State Investment Law.

In this regard, Mr Phoukhong said state investment projects and the purchase of relevant materials and equipment must undergo bidding.

“We are determined to prevent staged bidding,” he said.

The administration pledged not to carry out unapproved projects or projects whose investment cost exceeded the approved budget.

The director pledged to attach greater important to following up and evaluating implementation of the socio-economic development and state investment plan.

Meanwhile, more attention will be paid to exploring measures to repay the capital’s public debt.

To stimulate efforts to meet the growth target, the Vientiane People’s Council told the administration to re-inspect projects and concessions that had been approved and granted to private investors.

The suggestion came after reports emerged that investors were failing to carry out their projects or that project implementation was ineffective.

The administration was told to prioritise projects for debt payments.

The council stressed the need to ensure that all state investment projects and related purchases underwent bidding in an open, transparent, fair and just manner.

Welcoming the administration’s pledge to streamline procedures and improve the investment climate, the council called for the administration to create conditions to enable small and medium enterprises to access financing and markets so they could compete with their foreign rivals.

The administration was told to improve state enterprises under the management of the capital so that they operated effectively and profitably and bolstered efforts to drive growth.

Under its approved 2018 socio-economic development plan, Vientiane has set a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of at least 10.5 percent, amounting to 45,600 billion kip.

Average GDP per capita is targeted at US$5,500.

The agriculture and forestry sector is expected to grow by 5.5 percent, industry to grow by 14 percent, and the service sector by 10 percent.

To reach the growth target, Vientiane needs total investment of 15,600 billion kip, representing 10.5 percent of GDP.

 

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