ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Nikon opens assembly plant in central Laos
Publication Date : 25-09-2013
Nikon on September 23 opened a new assembly operation in Laos, called Nikon Lao Company Limited, to expand the production base of its photographic products.
The US$8 million plant in the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone in central Savannakhet provin ce is set for operation next month with its primary purpose being the assembly of digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera units.
Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs, Somsavat Lengsavad, Japanese Ambassador to Laos, Junko Yokota, and representatives from Nikon attended the official opening ceremony of the plant after its six-month construction, according to official source s.
Nikon saw great potential in the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone following the installation of all the necessary infrastructure, according to the Head of the Investment, Promotion and Legal Affairs Division at the zone, Phanomkone Dararasamy.
By investing in the zone, Nikon will enjoy a number of tax and duty incentives. Laos is also an attractive production base because it has cheap labour and receives trade privileges from more than 40 countries.
Nikon, a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, currently assembles some lenses and entry- to mid-level SLRs at a plant in Ayutthaya province, Thailand, operated by Nikon (Thailand) Co.
With the establishment of this new factory in Laos, part of the production of the digital SLR cameras, which are completed as final products in Thailand, will be done here, the company said.
Up to 200 Lao nationals have been trained in preparation for working at the new plant once operations begin, which is expected to be next month.
Its location in the Special Economic Zone will mean Nikon can easily export its products to international markets along the East-West Economic Corridor through Road No. 9.
The Lao government has signed an agreement with Malaysian investor Giant Consolidated Limited to build a US$5 billion railway to link Savannakhet province with the Lao-Vietnamese border (Savan-Laobao).
The project is expected to be complete within four years with trains travelling at a top speed of 120km per hour.
Laos and Vietnam have also introduced a one-stop service at the Savan-Laobao border checkpoint. Laos also plans to introduce this system at the Lao-Thai border crossing between Savannakhet province and Mukdahan through the Mekong Friendship Bridge there.
A few months ago, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar officials met in Savannakhet province to discuss the introduction of the one-stop service at their shared border crossings.
Nikon Lao Company Limited is one of four Japanese companies and one of 48 businesses in total that have invested in the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone.