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Laos’ Xieng Khuang vows to approve investment projects within two weeks

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A 15th-century Buddha statue in Vat Phiavat temple some 30km southeast of Xieng Khuang province’s capital Phonsavan town, in Khoun district’s Siphom village. VIENTIANE TIMES

Laos’ Xieng Khuang vows to approve investment projects within two weeks

Xieng Khuang provincial authorities have announced plans to approve all investment project proposals within two weeks without any delays.

Provincial governor Bounton Chanthaphone told Vientiane Times recently that the province’s investment committee will no longer delay any investment projects that annoy private enterprises and make them retreat from the province.

“If companies really want to invest in our province, we will approve their investment proposals within two weeks and will immediately call them for the signing of the memorandum of understanding [MoU],” he said.

“However, these companies must be interested to invest in the province without any intention of holding on to the projects and without developing or delaying for reselling it to other investors.”

Bounton stressed that investors will be informed within two weeks from the date of their submission whether their proposal has been approved or not.

“If we can approve your projects, we will approve it immediately. But if we cannot approve it due to factors related to the socio-environmental impact, we will also inform the investors within this period and perhaps encourage them to invest in other projects.”

The governor vowed that he will make sure all investment-related departments understand this move and assure the government that they will fast-track the approval of investment proposals.

Over the past six months of this year, Xieng Khuang approved several investment projects worth more than 1.300 trillion kip ($148.5 million), representing 86 per cent of the annual plan.

As a result of structural reform that removes red tape, more and more investors are coming forward to do business in Xieng Khuang province, particularly in the agricultural sector.

Vinamilk, Vietnam’s largest dairy company, has teamed up with Lao and Japanese businesses to build an organic dairy farm and resort in Xieng Khuang province.

Bounton said from 2019-2022, Vinamilk will invest $120 million to breed at least 20,000 cows, particularly dairy cows. From 2022-28, the company will invest $380 million in the project and the number of cows should be at between 80,000 and 100,000.

The province also approved an investment proposal for a Chinese company within two weeks to build a resort in Xieng Khuang province with the total investment of around $60 million.

Following the approval of the proposal, Bounton said, authorities signed an MoU with the company to conduct a feasibility study and the project design. The Chinese company has established an office in the province to prepare for the project activities.

Authorities also signed an MoU with Khamphay Sana Group to develop Nongsalet Lake with the investment capital of around 100 billion kip.

In addition, a Vietnamese company will invest $12 million to build a hotel in the province, while another Vietnamese company will invest in a mining project.

Furthermore, several other companies will invest in the agricultural sector which is especially being promoted by the government. VIENTIANE TIMES

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