Lao Economic and Investment Forum Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Manufacturing Sector and Investment in Special Economic Zones (November 6th and 8th, 2018 in Osaka and Yamaguchi, Japan.)
On 6th and 8th November 2018, Lao Economic and Investment Forum focusing on “Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Manufacturing Sector and Investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs)” were organized in Osaka and Yamaguchi Prefecture by Ministry of Planning and Investment of Lao PDR and ASEAN Japan Centre. There were over 200 people attending the forum.
H.E. Ph.D Souphanh Keomixay, Minister of Planning and Investment delivered the keynote speech and emphasized that the forum is one of among activities to foster the closer co-operation between Lao PDR and Japan since the establishment of the diplomatic relation since 1955. Laos and Japan marked the 60th Anniversary in 2015 and have been celebrating the strategic partners since then.
On the remarks of Minister Keomixay, there were 04 key areas got focused: 1) Direction of Lao Economic Development, 2) Investment Promotion and Mechanism, 3) MSMEs Promotion, and 4) Investment in SEZs. In light of infrastructure development, some key projects are under the construction and due to operate in 2021 such as Laos-China railway project and Vientiane to Laos-China border highway project. There are several highway projects connecting Vientiane to Vangvieng, and Vientiane to Champasack province.
“The development of hardware (infrastructures) and the improvement of software (laws and regulations) by the Lao Government aims to ensure providing a solid “bird nest” for investors (birds) who are looking for the right place to stay and operate their business sustainably” said by the Minister.
The development of dry port is one of the priority of the government and it is strategized to reduce the transportation cost. In 2016, the first dry port was established in middle part of Laos and it can reduce the transportation cost of goods about 30%. The additional dry port in LuangNamtha Province, Khammuane Province and Champasack Province in under the plan for development.
Minister Keomixay affirmed that the special and specific economic zones would provide a promising an ease of business environment for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Currently, two out of total 12 SEZs were here with us and they were very happy to explain about the readiness of their zones to the audiences.
The session in Osaka and Yamaguchi featured speakers from various fields and expertise. List of the speakers and the topic of presentations/remarks are shown at the end*.
Savan Park is located in Savannakhet Province (central part of Laos) which takes full advantage of the East-West Economic Corridor. This SEZ covers the total land area of 234 ha and over 60 enterprises (including 10 Japanese firms) invested in the zone.
Pakse-Japan SMEs Zone is located in Champasack Province (southern part of Laos). There are 11 firms currently operating in the zone.
SEZs in Lao PDR features several incentives which are considered having several competitive incentives comparing to incentives granted outside the SEZs.
*List of speakers:
1. HE Mr Viroth SUNDARA, Ambassador, Embassy of Laos in Japan: “Welcome Remarks”;
2. HE Mr Takeo KAWAMURA, Chairman, Japanese-Lao Parliamentary Group: “Remarks”;
3. Professor Motoyoshi SUZUKI, PhD, President & Vice Chairman, Lao School of Business and Commerce (LSBC), Special Adviser to Minister, Ministry of Planning & Investment, Lao PDR: “Surprisingly Attractive Lao Investment Environment: Latest Information”
4. Mr Katsuichi IWAKAMI, Chief Representative, JETRO Vientiane: “Business Chance in Laos”
5. Mr Vannada PHOMMASATHIT, Managing Director, Pakse-Japan SME SEZ Development Co., Ltd; Mr Toshihiro MOCHIZUKI, Senior Manager, Business Planning Section, Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd; and Mr Yasuo NISHIOKA, Deputy Manager, Business Planning Section, Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd: “Introduction of Special Economic Zones (SEZs)”;
6. Mr Tee Chee Seng, General Manager, Savan Park: Savanakhet Special Economic Zone: “Introduction of Special Economic Zones (SEZs);
7. Mr Tetsuya IKEDA, Managing Director, Sanko Lao Co.,Ltd & Managing Executive Officer, Sanko Construction Co.,Ltd: “SANKO LAO – Solution for Tomorrow”.
News by: Mr. Phouvong Phaophongsavth