Executive Summary, Phongsaly Province
Phongsaly is the northernmost Province of Laos. It borders China to the west and north, Vietnam to the east, Luang Prabang Province to the south, and Oudomxay Province to the southwest. Phongsaly has a total land area of 16,270 km2 (6,280 sq. mi.). Its total population of approximately 178,000 people is made up of more than twenty minority ethnic groups who speak their own languages. However, the biggest visual distinction between the groups is in the women’s dresses. Because of its geographical location, Phongsaly’s main culture is greatly influenced by China.
Phongsaly City is the capital of the province. It sits at 1,430 meters (4,691.6 feet) above sea level on the slope of Mount Phou Fa (“Heavenly Mountain”), which is 1,625 meters or 5,331.3 feet above sea level. Though fairly cool in winter (between 10-18 C), it is pleasant in summer (25-30 C).
The province is rich in natural resources. Many parts of the land remain covered with dense forests. There are two national protected areas: Phou Dene Din National Biodiversity Conservation Area and Nam Lan Conservation Area. Coal, copper and zinc are among the notable minerals in Phongsaly. Its terrain and climate allow for abundant rivers where different scales of hydropower plants could be built.
The majority of Phongsaly people raise crops and livestock. The most common seasonal crops include rice, corn, cassava, sugar cane, groundnut and sesame. Permanent crops widely grown in the province are bananas, cardamom, mangoes, rubber trees, and tea. A 400-year-old tea plantation located in Koma Village, less than 20 km from Phongsaly City, is home to some of the oldest tea trees in the world. With some trees 6 meters in height and their roots digging deep into the mineral-rich soil, Phongsaly is famous for its exquisite tea.
There are a few foreign direct investments operating in Phongsaly, most of which are understandably Chinese. The top three investment sectors are agroforestry, hydropower, and mining.
The hard-working people of Phongsaly are hospitable. The local government is honored to extend an open invitation to domestic and foreign business people to explore potential environmentally and socially sustainable investments in the beautiful province, where ancient Yunnan architecture has been spared from the Vietnam War.
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Investment Promotion Sector,
Department of Planning and Investment,
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