By VIENTIANE TIMES
This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone during the launch of the fourth “China-South Asia Expo” and the 24th “China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair” on Sunday.
In his opening remarks, Sonexay said that although Laos did not share a border with the sea, based on its position at the centre of the five Greater Mekong Subregion countries, it was ready to give opportunities for foreign investors to implement their businesses in Laos.
“Following the common policy to attract foreign investment set by the government and given that the country is rich in natural resources, this will help increase the number of investors, especially Chinese businesses,” Sonexay said.
Citing Chinese investment in Laos, especially from Yunnan province, Sonexay said Laos and Yunnan had continued to increase their cooperation in trading and investment.
The volume of investment between the two governments reached US$882 million (Bt31 billion) in 2015.
Besides that, in the first three months of this year, 219 companies from Yunnan invested in Laos at a projected cost of $4 billion in investment terms, especially in special economic zones, the deputy prime minister said.
Sonexay said it was not surprising that Laos has become a targeted foreign market to attract huge investment from businesses in Yunnan.
“The cooperation between Laos and Yunnan province is part of the strategy on China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’. This initiative has been contributing importantly to Laos’ economic development,” he said.
During the expo, Sonexay held discussions with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang.
Wang said both sides could strengthen their high-level communication and exchanges in governing experience, pushing forward cooperation in industrial capacity, investment, economic cooperation zones and infrastructure and promoting local-level ties.
Laos and China established diplomatic relations in 1961. This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, in an auspicious year as Laos prepares to host the Asean chairmanship.