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Lao, South Korean business communities promote renewables investment

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Lao, South Korean business communities promote renewables investment

The business communities of Laos and the Republic of Korea (RoK) are keen to jointly promote the development of renewable energy in Laos.

A business matching event was held in Vientiane to facilitate collaboration between Lao companies and representatives of Korean firms from RoK’s North Chungcheong province.

The first Lao-Korean event on “Business Promotion for Renewable Energy” was part of steps to strengthen cooperation between the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Laos and the RoK government, especially of North Chungcheong province.

The province recently signed a cooperation pact with the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines for developing the solar energy industry in Laos.

In his keynote address at the event, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Thongphat Inthavong said the event was meant to enhance cooperation between the two nations, especially to promote investments in renewable energy by the Korean investors.

“At the end of last year, our ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with North Chungcheong province for the development of the solar energy industry in Laos. This is such a meaningful move by the two sides to boost bilateral business cooperation,” he said.

Thongphat (pictured, US Embassy in Laos) said the event was a golden platform and an opportunity for Lao and Korean businesses to meet and discuss future cooperation and to exchange experiences in investments in and development of renewable energy.

South Korean Ambassador to Laos, Shin Sung-soon, said RoK’s North Chungcheong province has conditions similar to those of Laos because it has no access to the sea, though it also has a plan like Laos to develop as a land-linked region.

“Laos has natural water resources, and our province also has similar conditions. Also, this province has cooperation projects with Laos in different fields, rather than other provinces of RoK,” he said, noting this event will promote RoK’s policy of enhancing regional cooperation based on the “New Southern Policy”.

The ambassador believed the meeting between Lao and Korean businesses from North Chungcheong would also support the Lao government’s policy for socio-economic development and energy development, especially green and clean energy.

Over the past few years, more and more business-matching events have been held in Laos to promote Korean products and services. In addition, Korean companies have shown their interest in different fields, such as automobiles, hydropower, finance and healthcare.

As a result, trade between South Korea and Laos touched $120 million in 2017. The two countries are also expected to build on mutual benefits for both sides by eyeing an increase of bilateral trade to $240 million by next year, the Korean ambassador said in an interview with Vientiane Times last year.

Based on the “New Southern Policy”, the South Korean government is determined to double its annual trade with Asean countries to $200 billion by next year. VIENTIANE TIMES

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