Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lao gov’t policies to lure investors fail to spark industrial sector

Lao gov’t policies to lure investors fail to spark industrial sector

Lao gov’t policies to lure investors fail to spark industrial sector

The growth rate of factories in Laos is continuing at a moderate pace despite the government improving its policies and regulations to attract investors.

The number of factories has grown by just five per cent annually, according to statistics collected by the Department of Industry and Handicrafts under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Laos had 13,148 factories in 2016, including large, medium, small and household units, according to information posted on the ministry’s website. The department compiled the inventory of factories in 2015.

The statistics showed the number of factories that were active and productive, analysed the operational flow, presented the goods and services they dealt with, employment, amount of investment, management of fixed assets and raw materials, and electricity consumption.

The department said it faced difficulties in collecting the data, which was the main reason why an in-depth assessment of each industrial sector could not be carried out.

However, the collected statistics showed there were few large factories that could drive the economy, with about 80 per cent being household businesses.

Information on investment in environmental protection is inadequate, but anecdotally many factories are energy-intensive and release air pollutants at a high rate.

Foreigners owned a total of the 354 companies involved, 2,115 companies were joint ventures and 10,679 received domestic investment.

There were 714 large factories or 5.43 per cent of the total, 784 medium-sized factories or 5.96 per cent, 6,707 small factories or 51.01 per cent, and 4,943 household workshops, equal to 37.6 per cent of the total.

Most factories are located in Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan and Savannakhet provinces, and in the cities of Pakse and Vientiane.

The plants produced more than 80 types of industrial and service products, and many were rice and sweetcorn mills. The products produced ranged from concrete to furniture.

The units generated billions of kip – which currently exchanges at 8,800 kip to $1 – in revenue that contributed to socio-economic development, the government’s budget, and employed more than 145,000 people.

To attract additional investors, the government should carry out a review and identify measures that can improve the investment climate.



  • PM slams HRW ‘double standards’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has chided Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia director Brad Adams for keeping quiet over protest crackdowns in the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Addressing reporters while inspecting infrastructure development in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday,

  • Bank robber of $6M asks to be released

    An accused bank robber who admitted to stealing $6 million has asked the Supreme Court to release him temporarily because he had returned the money. In a court hearing on Tuesday Chan Simuntha, 39, told the judge that on January 18, his wife Teang Vathanaknearyroth told him that

  • WHO: Antibiotics cause more deaths

    Increased antibiotics use in combating the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming

  • Children in poverty said to rise by 86M

    The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children warned that if urgent measures are not taken, the number of children living in poverty across low- and middle-income countries could increase by 86 million, a 15 per cent jump, by the end of the year. In

  • Four more Cambodian peacekeepers get Covid-19 in Mali

    Four more Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers in Mali have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Cambodian UN peacekeepers to 10. National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War deputy director-general and spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Tuesday

  • Huge tracks of undocumented land a concern for registration officials

    Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith expressed concern that land registration plans for residents scheduled to be completed by late 2021 could not be achieved because 80 per cent of the land had not been registered. Land dispute issues are a major factor that poses a