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Hanoi urges Viet firms to invest in Cambodia and Laos

Written By vibykhmer on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | 5:54 PM

Firms urged to invest in Cambodia, Laos

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News (Hanoi)

VietNamNet Bridge – Huge investment opportunities in Laos and Cambodia are awaiting Vietnamese firms, according to Lai Quang Thuc, chairman of the Viet Nam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Co-operation and Development.
He said that there was potential for co-operation between enterprises on hydropower, mining, cash crops and agro-fishery-forestry processing and that despite global and regional economic difficulties, investment co-operation between the countries was encouraging.

By the end of last year, Vietnamese investment in Laos was more than US$812 million with 157 projects specialising in hydropower, mining and wood processing.

The investment means Laos leads the list of countries attracting investment from Viet Nam. Last year, the Vietnamese investment in 35 new projects in Laos was worth $180 million, making Viet Nam the largest foreign investor in the country.

Thuc said Vietnamese investment in Laos would increase strongly in the next few years when several large mining and electricity projects were approved.

Viet Nam's direct investment in Cambodia of $211 million to the end of February was below potential. The majority of the 39 approved projects were small. Most were in agro-forestry, construction and services.

Viet Nam's good relationship with its neighbours and a favourable geographic position gave Vietnamese investors an advantage over others, he said.

Inadequate legal frameworks, slow land clearance and shortages of skilled workers were challenges for investors in Laos and Cambodia.

Viet Nam was yet to compile investment strategies to the countries, resulting in difficulties for companies wanting to start projects, he said.

Operating for a year

The association reviewed its first year of operation during a meeting in the capital last week.

Under its five-year action plan, the association will organise forums and fairs and provide opportunities for members to exchange experiences and information on economic and investment co-operation. The association also plans to provide consultancy and legal assistance services for enterprises on local requirements and international laws.

It will further economic and investment relations between Viet Nam and those neighbouring countries and contribute to improving economic development and living conditions. The association's membership of about 600 includes 200 organisations and enterprises.


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