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Chinese investors invade Laos !!!
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Vientiane - Laos was once unique in South-East Asia for its remarkably small overseas Chinese business community. Under colonial rule, the French had a policy of keeping Chinese immigrants out, bringing in Vietnamese instead to run the shops and make the economy tick.

When Laos went communist in 1975, the few Chinese residents there fled the country for greener pastures. And during the Cold War, when Laos was a Soviet satellite, relations with mainland China were cool.

Since 1986, with the crumbling of the Soviet bloc and the forced opening of the Lao economy, Sino-Lao relations have warmed considerably.

China's development aid to Laos now amounts to more than 280 million dollars. Beijing built the Cultural Centre for Vientiane a few years ago and is currently putting up the Sports Stadium (employing 3,000 Chinese workers) in preparation for the South-East Asian Games, which Vientiane will host in 2009.

China is also building the highway that will eventually link Yunnan province to Thailand via Laos.

More than just Chinese aid money is flowing into Laos, a country half the size of France with only 6.5 million people.

Between 2001 to August 2007, Chinese foreign direct investment in projects approved by Laos' Committee for Planning and Investment (CPI) amounted to 1.1 billion dollars, second only to Thailand's projects worth 1.3 billion.

Last fiscal year, ending on September 30, Chinese companies accounted for the lion's share of the 1.1 billion dollars worth of FDI approved. Of the 117 projects approved by the Committee of Planning and Investment, 45 were Chinese projects worth 462 million dollars. About 32 per cent of the Chinese investment was in hydropower.

Besides investments in hydro-electric plants, Chinese companies are also investing in mining, rubber plantations, telecommunications, construction materials, hotels and restaurants.

On August 8, Chinese investors opened the "China Market" near the airport, now one of the biggest shopping malls in the capital. Chinese merchants man the stalls and Chinese goods are on sale.

The huge increase of Chinese investments in mining and hydro-power plants has led to a two-year moratorium on new concessions.

"We have stopped handing out new mining licenses for the past year," said CPI vice president Bounthavy Sisouphanthong. "That was out of concern for the environment, and also a feeling that the government needed to negotiate better."

Laos has handed out more than 140 mining concessions in recent years, many to Chinese looking for gold, copper, iron, potassium and bauxite.

Some of the proposed projects are massive.

For instance, Australia's ORD Rivers Resources has joint ventured with China's Nonferrous Metals International Mining Co., Ltd (CNMIM) to develop a 727-square-kilometre concession on the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos into one of the world's largest bauxite mines.

Such concessions are hard to secure in Laos without a Chinese partner.

"It's political," said Vinay Inthavong, a Lao entrepreneur and chairman of the Vico Group. "If the leadership wants to stay in power they have to support China and Vietnam."

It may also be monetary.

There are rumours of considerable "leakage" at Chinese government-financed projects.

For example, the EXIM Bank of China provided a 75-million-dollar loan to one hydro-power plant, a joint venture between a Chinese enterprise and the Lao government, that allegedly only cost 45 million dollars to construct, according to a consultant who worked on the project. Nobody knows where the remaining 30 million got to.

More worrisome are the vast tracks of land Laos has farmed out to China on its northern border and Vietnam on its eastern border for rubber plantations.

"The border provinces are not Laos anymore," said one European businessman who travels to the north frequently. "They are under foreign economic control."

There is an element of Chinese migration in the investment surge. According to Chinese embassy sources in Vientiane the number of Chinese officially living in Laos is 30,000. The unofficial number is estimated at ten times that.

Beijing has asked Laos to allow another 2,000 to 3,000 Chinese families to live and work in the country, informed sources said.

Such is the plight of a land-locked, sparsely populated country, surrounded by three bigger neighbours - China with 1.3 billion people, Vietnam with 80 million and Thailand with 65 million.

"Of course we are concerned," said CPI's Bounthavy. "I compare us with a small boat in a rough sea."

Source: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/120390.html


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Do China Invest in Laos, or is China buying Laos?
I enjoy number1, but not number 2.

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Anonymous

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That's understandable, but I believe LAO must choose to go forwards you need FDI or direct investment, to stay and a backwards country we can then just shut the door like in the past. I don't like europeans came in as snake 2 heads. If they wanted to invest in LAO then come, otherwise let other countries do it, don't say this say that, it can cause lot of fears, mistrust, misundertanding....etc. In the past europeans already occupied and rules many lands of this world, as we knew the colonists french, British Empire, the dutch the portuguese....so don't say now this country controls LAO that country controls LAO because it does not do any good to LAO.

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Anonymous

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A word of wisdom from our lao brother just to remind us all of a new powerful force coming towards our country
shouldn't be taken as lightly. Of course, we got all these aids and help from china - but what will be the consequences down the road - let's say in the next 10 or 20 years ? . Just as I heard of a 70 years lease somewhere in the northern part of the country - what will happen when the lease is up ? How can you handle the chinese population then ? I know those that signed up the agreement will be dead and long gone and will have nothing to worry about. I see that this would be a more difficult problem to solve than the former european influences.
Just a thought.

Z

weirdface.gifweirdface.gifweirdface.gif

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Anonymous

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Chinese girls are pretty - just bring them on !....hahabiggrin

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Anonymous

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Lao government always welcomes foreign investors from around the world. No single investor is forbiden from doing business in Laos as long as the investor follows Lao law, on which someone in this topic doubted. Yes, the Chinese investors are considered as the good partners of Lao goverment, Lao investors or and Lao people as well. 
I don't agree with this article. It is ridiculous and stupidd to think that the Chinese investors invade Laos. In fact in our country there are lots investors who come from Thailand, French, Germany, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, South Korea and so on. 
 This article is nothing but the anti-Lao government opinion, whis is a voice of group of Lao people who lost power after 1975.    

So, is that the Chinese investors have no right to do business in Laos?

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Anonymous wrote:

That's understandable, but I believe LAO must choose to go forwards you need FDI or direct investment, to stay and a backwards country we can then just shut the door like in the past. I don't like europeans came in as snake 2 heads. If they wanted to invest in LAO then come, otherwise let other countries do it, don't say this say that, it can cause lot of fears, mistrust, misundertanding....etc. In the past europeans already occupied and rules many lands of this world, as we knew the colonists french, British Empire, the dutch the portuguese....so don't say now this country controls LAO that country controls LAO because it does not do any good to LAO.



First, we are talking about present and future, not about something of the past (50 years old).

Second, the mistakes of the past should serve as lessons to make now the best decisions. You seems to angry because in the past your wonderfull country was under control of many countries (including mine, even if french were certainly not the worse invador for Laos), so you don't want to believe or listen what i have to say... but it seems you also don't care if your country is being an economical slave of China! Don't you think that being an economical slave of a country is as bad (even worse) than being a political slave?

You're right, Laos should certainly not close all its doors and stay as it was in the past... this don't mean however that the best for Laos is to now accept everything from foreigners and leave its doors wide open for anyone, any idea.... especialy for people who just think about get more money and power and don't care at all about the real benefits for lao population. It's just a question of balance


-- Edited by paris_vientiane at 21:03, 2007-10-09

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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:

Lao government always welcomes foreign investors from around the world. No single investor is forbiden from doing business in Laos as long as the investor follows Lao law, on which someone in this topic doubted. Yes, the Chinese investors are considered as the good partners of Lao goverment, Lao investors or and Lao people as well. 
I don't agree with this article. It is ridiculous and stupid to think that the Chinese investors invade Laos. In fact in our country there are lots investors who come from Thailand, French, Germany, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, South Korea and so on. 
 This article is nothing but the anti-Lao government opinion, whis is a voice of group of Lao people who lost power after 1975.    

So, is that the Chinese investors have no right to do business in Laos?



I really agree with this statement. Our Lao government always welcomes foreign investors regardless their nationalities.



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Anonymous

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I do not agree with people who said that LAO accepted everything just for FDI or direct investment, LAO has LAW and GUIDELINES for any country which wants to come and invest in LAO, if you said that 'accepting everything' does look like LAO has no LAW or GUIDELINES for investors.

Some people blamed Lao government did nothing that's why the state of the country is like what we have seen, but when Lao government does something there also people said LAO is under this country that country control, things are out of control because of certain country invested in LAO....(CHINA). So like the tounge has no bone it can say anything it wanted to....but it did nothing good to LAO, just like PAW KAO BOR DEE.

These words remind me PAULINE HANDSON of AUSTRALIA when she said Asians invaded Australia...reality is totally different. It was not, and it is not true. Somehow these sort of comments caused a lot of hardship for asians who live in Australia as that time. You walk down the street and people spit at you......something like that, just because you are asian.

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i didn't say "China invade laos"... i just put a warning about a risk... and i've read some article about some chinese investments in laos (rubber plantations..) that show that in some cases , this risk become reality.... but of course this don't mean all chinese investments generate the same problems.

i just try to explain to people who think that every foreign investment is good that they are wrong and that they should think carefully before thinking that Laos should accept a foreign investment. Of course there are some rules, goverment don't accept everything, and for sure it's a very good thing. But
- sometime, the rules, the critera can/should be improved... lao official are learning everyday from their past experience
- moreover, we all know that in Laos there is the rule and....the reality, that is sometime different... sometime, money can allow to break the rule...and No Lao people should accept that any more.

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