Govt approves new SEZ in Champasak
The government has granted approval for the establishment of the Pakxe-Japan SME Specific Economic Zone in Champassak province, aiming to facilitate development and attract more foreign direct investment, especially that of companies and enterprises from Japan.
The agreement on the establishment of the Pakxe-Japan SME Specific Economic Zone was signed on Wednesday in Vientiane between the Lao National Committee for Special Economic Zones (NCSEZ) and Saysana Group Ltd., along with Savan TVS Consultant Ltd.,
The objective of the zone's establishment is to facilitate and attract foreign direct investment, especially from companies and enterprises from Japan, to establish and operate production facilities, businesses and services for domestic supply and export.
The zone is also expected to boost local employment prospects as well as attract workers from the outlying districts of Champassak province while a focus will be placed on preserving the environment.
Dr Bounthong said the Pakse-Japan SME Specific Economic Zone covers an area of 195 hectares and extends into the territories of Pathoumphone and Bachiengchaleunsouk districts.
The project has an expected total investment of US$62 million (more than 500 billion kip) and a land concession period of 50 years.
Dr Bounthong said currently there are about seven companies from Japan investing in this new zone and the number of companies is expected to increase in the near future as the zone is suitable for investment and located on elevated land only 14km from Pakxe district centre.
He noted that the government as well as the province can benefit from this zone, especially in terms of the lessons learned from its development.
It will generate income for the province, create jobs for local residents, and help to promote basic infrastructure development in rural areas especially by convertin g jungle into an industrial area.
So far, there have been investors from countries including Chi na, Thailand, Vietnam and the Republic of Korea investing in the province.
The number of these investors is projected to increase as the government has recently approved the establishment of Khonphapheng waterfall and the surrounding area in Khong district of Champassak province as a new special economic zone (SEZ) in Laos, Dr Bounthong said.
According to the Lao National Committee for Special Economic Zones, Laos currently has two special economic zones and eight specific economic zones, which combined cover an area of more than 13,626 hectares and have generated over 11,000 jobs for foreigners and local people.
The government has generated revenue of more than US$11.4 million from special economic zones and specific economic zones (SEZs) over the period from 2002-2014.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister and Government Office Head Dr Sonexay Siphandone, Minister to the Government Office and Permanent Member of the Lao National Committee for Special and Specific Economic Zones Management, Mr Bounpheng Mounphoxay, Champassak provincial Governor Dr Bounthong Divixay, and Deputy Minister and Vice President of NCSEZ and Head of the NCSEZ Secretariat Ms Bouatha Khattiya.
Joining them were various ministers and high-ranking officials as well as senior representatives from government line organisations, the Japanese Embassy in Laos, JICA and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), along with representatives from the companies intending to invest.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 7, 2015)