(Vientiane times/ANN) The developer of the That Luang Marsh Special Economic Zone in Laos has spent $200 million on the project’s development since it began operations in 2012.
This figure was reported by the Vice Chair of the That Luang SEZ Management Board, Ms Phanchinda Lengsavad, during a visit to the zone by the Vientiane Mayor, Dr Sinlavong Khouphaythoune, and other high-ranking officials last week who were welcomed by Chair of the That Luang SEZ Management Board, Mr Huang Guo Ping.
The project is currently making progress on different works, including 91 percent of land compensation, road access to the zone, installation of electricity and water supply facilities and a drainage system, drainage bridges, That Luang SEZ management office, super market marketing office, and 11 condominiums with 17 floors, of with four having opened for sale, she said.
The project has created 654 jobs for Lao people and foreigners, and paid obligations in the form of taxes and fees to the government of more than one billion kip ($118,000).
Dr Sinlavong asked the developer and project constructors would boost coordination with relevant government sectors to improve the drainage system to higher standards to prevent flooding.
He directed the natural resource and environment sectors to speed up cooperation with the That Luang SEZ Management to resolve the issue of land compensation for facilitating the project to successfully operate to plan in each period.
Dr Sinlavong appreciated the progress made so far in the project but he called on the developer to pay attention to developing the zone that will become the smart city – where people from Vientiane, other provincial residents and foreigners would like to stay, organise parties and other events, exercise, relax and have family holidays – by focusing on the six slogans of cleanliness, peace, green, charming, civilised and illuminating.
He also asked the developer to encourage more investors to invest in the zone, and added that the government will always provide support through its policies and regulations.
The government is also trying to attract other domestic and foreign companies to join this project.
The Lao government signed a land concession agreement for the zone with the Wan Feng Shanghai Real Estate Company in 2011 with registered funds of seven billion kip.
The project is aimed at developing the marsh to become a natural and cultural tourism city, modern trading complex and service centre. The total investment is expected to be about $1.6 billion.
The project is being built over 365 hectares of land in the six villages of Nonvai, MeuangNoi, NonkhorNeua, Phonthan, Phonpapao and Donekoi in Xaysettha and Sisattanak districts.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the project took place in December 2012 and the company expects to spend 20 years to develop it.
The project comprises four phases of development, the first period during 2012-17, the second during 2018-22, the third during 2023-27 and the fourth during 2028-32.