Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laos in top ten Chinese new investment destinations

Laos in top ten Chinese new investment destinations

Vientiane Times
18 August 2011

Laos is among China's top ten new foreign investment destinations,
according to a report on the website of the Ministry of Commerce of

From January to May this year the value of China's newly signed
foreign contract projects reached US$55.98 billion, up by 23.2 percent
year on year.

The top ten countries and regions in terms of value of newly signed
contracts with China were India, Hong Kong, Laos, Pakistan,
Kazakhstan, Bahamas, Malaysia, Angola, Nigeria and Algeria, with a
total contract value of US$29.13 billion, accounting for 52.1 percent
of the overall value of newly signed contracts, the report said.

With its high potential for energy development, mining and hydropower
have been the most attractive sectors for Chinese investment in Laos.

"Mining and hydropower development are the most attractive sectors for
Chinese investors and have drawn the most inquiries through our
office," said Minister Counsellor in charge of economic and commercial
affairs at the Lao Embassy to China Mr Khampanh Sengthongkham.

Infrastructure development is seen as another emerging sector with
potential for Chinese investment, with a high-speed rail project to
link the Chinese border to Vientiane currently in the process of being

Greater engagement in the Lao mining sector in recent years by Chinese
companies has helped the registered value of Lao exports to China
reach more than US$246 million in the first quarter of this year,
double the figure recorded in the same period last year.

Last financial year the top three items exported by Laos in terms of
value were copper ore, copper and electricity, worth more than US$475
million, US$376 million, and US$288 million respectively.

Hydropower development has been growing rapidly in Laos. In 2006 the
country had only 10 power plants with a total capacity of 700MW. Now
it has 14 plants with a total capacity of 2,540MW and has the capacity
to develop to about 26,000MW in total.

The Lao government has announced its ambitious plan to make the nation
the 'battery of Asean' and feed the energy-hungry region.

Laos, one of the poorest countries in Asia, hopes to overcome poverty
by using revenues generated by the electricity and mining sectors to
fund development projects that will ensure poverty eradication by 2015
and removal from the UN list of least developed nations by 2020.

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