Laos: Australia and Canada looking into investment opportunities at Vientiane Logistics Park

VIENTIANE, April 12 (Vientiane Times/ANN): Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP) offer great investment opportunities because investors can enjoy various tax incentives and other benefits, the project developer has told Australian and Canadian diplomats.

Australian Ambassador to Laos, Paul Kelly, Chargé d’Affaires and Head of Office of the Embassy of Canada to Laos, Tim Edwards and their delegations visited the two facilities in Vientiane on April 8.

The purpose of the visit was to collect information and encourage possible investment by Australia and Canada in the Vientiane Logistics Park.

The visitors were welcomed by the former Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and now PTL Holding Company Limited’s President of the Executive Board of Strategy and Planning, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, together with the former Deputy Minister of Finance and now Vientiane Logistics Park Company Limited’s Senior

Advisor, Sila Viengkeo, Sitthi Logistics Lao Company Limited and Phongsavanh Bank.

Managing Director of the Thanaleng Dry Port, akhone Philangam, told the diplomats that the TDP and VLP were being set up to reduce cross-border transport costs, especially at the 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge border crossing between Vientiane and Nong Khai province in Thailand by 40 percent from current prices by 2025. This would not only make Laos a preferred transit place but also an internationally-connected commercial hub.

He explained that the project contributes to the fulfilment of the government’s policy to turn Laos into a multimodal transport connector within the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) and internationally.

Head of the Investment Promotion Unit of VLP Co., Ltd. Ms Viphalath Jinnalard, told the delegates that the Vientiane Logistics Park is one of the priority actions plans formulated by the government as part of the Logistics Development Strategy (from 2016 to 2020). This flagship project will radically transform Laos into a land-linked country within the GMS and allow international integration.

The Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park are situated on a prime location with an extensive area of 382 hectares and have been granted exclusive privileges by the Lao government. The VLP is one of the most attractive destinations for investment, and convenient in terms of infrastructure, transportation system connected through major trunk of roads and railways.

The TDP and VLP project is the only integrated logistics park project in the capital Vientiane, combining the key components at a single location to maximise the benefits of regional economic integration and logistics connectivity, namely:

1. Tank Farm: This facility will store liquid bulk cargoes for importing and storing fuel from Thailand and will serve as a fuel distribution centre for Laos. Diesel and petroleum products will arrive at the tank from a dedicated rail yard and the pipeline in the future.

2. Logistics Park: The main service provided by the Logistics Park is a warehousing and distribution centre which offers goods storage, consolidation, distribution, inventory management, and warehouse management.

3. Free Trade Zone (FTZ): The main business activities in the zone are the HALAL Hub and Agriculture Production Park, Technology Park, Office Zone, SME Building Area, Commercial Zone and Landmark (VLP Co., Ltd. office).

4. Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP): The dry port acts as the centre of international import and export trade with all categories of customs operations. Importantly, quality equipment, vehicles and warehouse systems will be installed professionally at the dry port to enable the processing of larger numbers of containers. Use of the Terminal Operation System (TOS) will guarantee the best service in terms of speed, security and reliability.

5. Export Processing Zone (EPZ): The new destination as a modern and most dynamic EPZ in the region, this will offer a more competitive business environment and will gear up to become a manufacturing export hub for the Asean and global consumer market.

The Export Processing Zone at the Vientiane Logistics Park will be an exclusive destination for regional exporting companies wishing to move production to a strategic location that not only reduces logistics costs and time-to-market, but also offers generous trade and investment incentives. These include trade privileges, streamlined customs and administrative procedures, tax exemptions, and flexible labour market regulations.

In addition, the Vientiane Logistics Park will provide standardised and high-quality utility infrastructure to adequately meet companies’ needs and ensure that all activities/works and businesses operations in the VLP run smoothly.

After being briefed on the project, the diplomats visited the Vientiane Logistics Park and Thanaleng Dry Port construction sites.

TDP is a dry port of international importance, approved by the UNESCAP through Resolution No. 69/7 on the Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports adopted in Bangkok on May 1,2013.

Thanaleng Dry Port topped the list of development priorities in the Lao National Logistics Strategy from 2016 to 2020 adopted by the PM decree No. 158/GOL dated May 27,2015, an action plan that aims to radically transform Laos from being landlocked to a land link within the region. - Vientiane Times/ANN

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