In Vientiane on Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding to build business and investment relationships was signed between the Acting Director of the investment Promotion Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Mr Achong Laomao, and the Head of Asia and Oceania Unit of Mizuho Bank, Mr Hiroshi Suehiro. The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Planning and Investment Mr Somdy Douangdy, Japanese Ambassador to Laos, Mrs Junko Yokota, and senior officials from the two countries.
It marked the first MOU which the MPI has ever signed with foreign institution. It will be one of the most effective means to promote investment and develop trust between both parties in a project which will see Japanese investors expand their business interests to Laos.
Last December, an agreement was reached between Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur du Lao public and Mizuho Bank which enhances collaborations.
Mr Achong believes that Wednesday’s MOU agreement will facilitate Mizuho Bank in expanding is financial services into the greater Mekong sub-region. Turning the Bank’s investment direction towards this regions in line with Japanese foreign policy.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has outlined a firm policy which considers Asean as a significant target for socio-economic cooperation. Therefore, Laos has taken this opportunity to promote Japanese investment through various means. To attract more Japanese investment the future, the Lao government will continue to market the manufacturing, garment and textile, modern wood processing and service industries. Other areas earmarked to attract foreign direct investment are organic farming, transportation, education, and health.
At present, Laos has created 10 special economic zones with two more on the way in the near future. the country also has numerous specific economic regions as well.
He said he is confident that the MOU will open the door to more investment and convince high quality businesses from Japan about the sustainable economic development plans in Laos.
Mr Hiroshi said Mizuho’s primary target region Is Asia. “We have been making efforts to enhance our service in this area, especially within the Mekong sub-region,” he said.
“The memorandum we signed today aims to develop the MPIs and Mizuho’s ability, to provide information to Japanese corporations which are considering expanding their businesses or investment into Laos, and also to drive our support structure for market entry and investment procedures.”
Specific initiatives will include Mizuho and the MPI holding investment seminars and providing support to Mizuho’s customers though the MPI in relation to business expansion and investment in Laos.
Mizuho Bank is a one of the major component of Mizuho Financial Group. Mizuho Financial Group is one of the world’s largest full-service financial conglomerates with offices in over 30 countries and has over 56,000 staffs worldwide. It has served customers over 140 years and it has reliable credit ratings at A+ and A- given by S&P and Fitch, respectively.