Vietnam has 250 projects licenced in Laos so far, with total investments of over 5 billion USD, 96 percent of which are located in southern provinces, according to data from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The figures were revealed at an economic cooperation
dialogue between Vietnam’s Central Highlands and southern central
provinces and Laos’ southern provinces that took place in Quy Nhon city,
in the southern central province of Binh Dinh, on November 2.
The projects, with a focus on agriculture, forestry and mining, make Vietnam the third largest investor in Laos. Meanwhile, Laos is the top destination for Vietnamese investors, out of 63 countries and territories worldwide where Vietnamese firms have operated, according to the ministry.
By the end of September this year, bilateral trade between the two countries hit 995 million USD. Trade between Vietnam and the southern-central provinces of Laos contributed approximately 600 million USD to the total trade revenue, a 48.3 percent year-on-year rise.
During the event, which is part of the preparations for the Vietnam-Laos economic cooperation conference in January 2015, Vietnamese investors voiced their difficulties in operating in Laos, including inefficient administrative procedures and complicated procedures for registering for land use licences.
Addressing the event, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad pledged that the Lao Government will work harder to tackle difficulties and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese investors.
The Lao Deputy PM, who is also head of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Sub-Committee, said the two governments will work together closely to instruct ministries on both sides to review bilateral cooperation agreements and solve all arising issues.
Laos highly valued Vietnamese investments in its southern provinces, especially the projects run by Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam and Viettel, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, head of the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Sub-Committee, said the Government will continue to back Vietnamese investors in Laos.
He also proposed the governments of Vietnam and Laos provide more assistance to investors by implementing support measures during their investment.
The ministries and localities on both sides should exchange information regularly and coordinate closely with each other to review the implementation of Vietnamese projects in Laos, he suggested.
He also highlighted the need for Vietnamese investors to ensure the progress, quality and efficiency of their projects as well as their responsibility to the community, he added.
On the occasion, Vietnamese enterprises presented seven southern Lao provinces with 20 computers each.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Phuc and his Lao counterpart witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Youth Unions of Binh Dinh and Champasak provinces.
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