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Taiwan eyes investment in Laos
Publication Date : 07-01-2014
As Taiwan pushes trade and financial reforms to further open its market, it is looking to Laos as a new niche economy into which to expand.
Taiwan's top trade promotion body said it will organise tours in March to explore business opportunities in Laos.
The focus will be on Laos' industrial products market, with Taiwan seeking to satisfy its high demand for machinery and power supplies.
The delegation on the March trip will include manufacturers of agricultural machinery, power supplies and auto parts, according to the China Post.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment said Laos has abundant investment opportunities, including its 23,000 MW electricity generation capacity, variety of mineral deposits, attractive tourism destinations and 2 million hectares of agricultural land.
The country also has special economic zones for industrial investment and promising natural resources potential.
Laos' one-stop service system is making it easier for domestic and foreign investors to access investment policies and information, and saving investors time they might have once spent running documents to a number of sectors.
In keeping with the Lao government's efforts, investment opportunities are developing year-on-year in the country.
Becoming a World Trade Organisation member in 2013 and the impending arrival of the Asean Economic Community in 2015 have changed the economic development landscape and broadened investment opportunities.
Since the promulgation of the Investment Promotion Law in 2011, the investment approval procedure has been shortened.
The country's economy is currently expanding by about 8 per cent each year.
The value of Lao exports and imports has exceeded the target set in the seventh Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan, according to the ministry.
The ministry unveiled the results of the plan at the half-way stage during a meeting with donors last week. The figures showed the value of exports had already reached 76 per cent of the goal set in the five year plan, and was 19 per cent ahead of the target.
This increase in export value is largely due to the surge in sales of mining products and hydropower. The mining sector contributed 58 per cent of the total while 13 per cent came from hydropower exports, according to a presentation given by the Planning Department.
About 68 per cent of Lao exports are shipped to Asian countries including Thailand, Vietnam and China, while 21 per cent go to Oceania, including Australia and New Zealand. The rest is exported to the European Union and the United States.