Vientiane Times, July 25, 2012
The Hoang Anh Gia Lia Group is planting more than 30,000 hectares of rubber trees in Attapeu province. An official from the group Mr Phan Thanh Thu, told the Vientiane Times on Monday that more than 6,000 Lao and Vietnamese citizens are currently working in its fields. “We will need 15,000 workers when the rubber trees are mature in four or five years,” he said. The company is not only planting rubber trees but also constructing a processing factory in Phouvong district, Attapeu province.
The Hoang Anh Gia Lia Group is also constructing the Kong 2 and Nam Kong 3 hydropower plants in the province and will soon be hiring hundreds of local employees. The Group currently has capital amounting to more than US$1.2 billion. It plans to increase its investments in Laos to US$960 million in 2014-15 in areas such as hydropower, mining and industrial farming. “We have many projects in Laos, especially in Attapeu, but we are having trouble finding enough employees in the province,” Mr Phan Thanh Thu said. The company is collaborating with officials to attract labourers from other areas of the country. He also encouraged labourers working in Thailand to return to Attapeu since there are now many jobs available for them.
The group has already built 1,500 housing units for employees working in the rubber fields to live in. Labourers normally receive a wage of around 50.000 kip per day for planting saplings and clearing grass and weeds but those willing to work hard can make as much as 100-120,000 kip per day. When the processing plant is operational, the company will begin exporting rubber overseas. When the rubber plants are mature, it will export an estimated US$500 million of rubber per year. Before deciding to plant rubber in Attapeu province, the company carefully considered a number of locations. It chose the province due to its proximity to Vietnam’s Gia Lai province and the quality of its land. The Hoang Anh Gia Lia Group began investing in Laos in 2007. It is the number one investor in the province and also provides grants for development projects such as hospitals, roads and schools.