Source: Vientiane Times, June 10, 2017
A number of banana farms in Oudomxay province have ceased operations after their contracts expired following numerous complaints from local residents that their operations were negatively affecting the environment.
The farms are operated by 11 concession holders. Seven companies are still continuing their operations but four companies’ contracts have expired and the authorities will not renew them.
A provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department official, Mr Bounyeun Xayyaven told Vientiane Times yesterday the 11 companies had concessions and rented the land of local residents to operate their banana farms, but four of those companies had ended their work after their contracts expired.
The seven companies that are currently still in business will also cease work when their contracts expire, he said, adding that in each case the investors are returning the land to their owners upon the expiration of their contracts.
Of the remaining companies, some still have three year contracts while others have five year contracts but they must comply with government policy on environmental protection as long as they are still in operation, Mr Bounyeun said.
Last year, the Prime Minister’s Office ordered farms that were preparing to cultivate banana trees to cease work. Companies that own thousands of hectares of banana plantations where trees have already been planted will not be allowed to plant any more after harvesting the crop.
Chinese-owned banana farms are not only found in the north of Laos, there are also hundreds of hectares of bananas under cultivation in Vientiane province and the capital.
According to a National Assembly report in October last year, some provinces are using too many insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilisers, but this issue did not feature in reports submitted to the Assembly.
Some people became ill and some allegedly died after pesticide was sprayed on farms, but the reports did not say where this had occurred.
There are no bananas grown on Chinese-owned farms for sale in local markets as the farms send all their fruit to China. The bananas are packed in cardboard boxes for immediate shipment to China after they are harvested.
Archive for the ‘Investment and concessions / ການລົງທຶນ ແລະ ການສຳປະທານ’ Category
Source: Vientiane Times, June 10, 2017
ແຫຼ່ງທີ່ມາຂອງຂ່າວ: ສຳນັກຂ່າວສານປະເທດລາວ, KPL, May 12 2017
- ເສັ້ນສີແດງ (ເສັ້ນເທິງ) ແມ່ນແລວທາງ ເສດຖະກິດ ຕາມເສັ້ນທາງ ສາຍໄໝ, ເສັ້ນສີຟ້າ (ເສັ້ນລຸ່ມ) ແມ່ນເສັ້ນທາງ ສາຍໄໝທາງ ທະເລແຫ່ງ ສັດຕະວັດ ທີ 21.
ການກໍ່ສ້າງ “ໜຶ່ງແລວທາງ ໜຶ່ງເສັ້ນທາງ” ແມ່ນຢືດໝັ້ນ ຕາມຫລັກການ “ຮ່ວມກັນປຶກສາ, ຮ່ວມກັນສ້າງ, ຮ່ວມກັນຊົມໃຊ້”, ຕັ້ງໜ້າຊຸກຍູ້ ຍຸດທະສາດ ການພັດທະນາ ຂອງບັນດາປະເທດ ທີ່ຢູ່ຕາມແລວທາງ ໃຫ້ເຊື່ອມໂຍງເຂົ້າກັນ. ຈິດໃຈຂໍ້ລິເລີ່ມ “ ໜຶ່ງ ແລວທາງໜຶ່ງ ເສັ້ນທາງ ” ຂອງປະທານ ສີຈິນຜິງ ແມ່ນເພື່ອສືບຕໍ່ ສ້າງກາລະໂອກາດອັນໃໝ່ໃຫ້ແກ່ ການລົງເລິກຮ່ວມມື ກັບຕ່າງປະເທດ ແລະ ຂະຫຍາຍພື້ນທີ່ ອັນໃໝ່ໃນການ ຮ່ວມມືກັບ ພາກພື້ນ, ໂດຍເລັ່ງໃສ່ ເຊື່ອມໂຍງ 5 ຂົງເຂດໃຫຍ່ ຄື: ສົ່ງເສີມການ ເຊື່ອມໂຍງທາງ ດ້ານນະ ໂຍບາຍ, ການເຊື່ອມໂຍງ ທາງດ້ານພື້ນຖານໂຄງລ່າງ, ສ້າງຄວາມສະດວກ ສະບາຍທາງດ້ານການຄ້າ, ການເຊື່ອມໂຍງ ທາງດ້ານທຶນຮອນ, ການເຊື່ອມໂຍງ ຄວາມສຳພັນ ລະຫວ່າງປະຊາຊົນ.
ແຫຼ່ງທີ່ມາຂອງຂ່າວ: ໜັງສືພິມເສດຖະກິດ-ການຄ້າ, 7/5/2017
ບັນຫາທີ່ດິນຍັງເປັນບັນຫາເຄັ່ງຮ້ອນມາຢ່າງຕໍ່ເນື່ອງ ເຊິ່ງກອງປະຊຸມສະໄໝສາມັນຂອງສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດໃນຊຸດຜ່ານໆມາ ກໍ່ໄດ້ຍົກບັນຫາດັ່ງກ່າວ ຖາມເຈາະຈີ້ມຂະແຫນງທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງຢ່າງຕໍ່ເນື່ອງ. ລ້າສຸດໃນກອງປະຊຸມຄັ້ງນີ້ ສະມາຊິກສະພາແຫ່ງຊາດ ກໍ່ໄດ້ຕັ້ງຄໍາຊັກຖາມວ່າ: ບັນຫາການໃຫ້ຊຳປະທານທີ່ດິນ ໃຫ້ກັບບໍລິສັດເອກະຊົນ ທັງພາຍໃນ ແລະ ແຕ່ງປະເທດ ແຕ່ບໍລິສັດບໍ່ປະຕິບັດຕາມສັນຍາ (ຈັດຈອງທີ່ດິນແຕ່ບໍ່ພັດທະນາ?) ບັນຫາບໍລິສັດຂະຫຍາຍເນື້ອທີ່ເກີນກຳນົດທີ່ ພາກລັດອະນຸມັດ ເຮັດໃຫ້ປະຊາຊົນໄດ້ຮັບຜົນກະທົບ ແລະ ບັນຫາທີ່ລັດຖະບານອະນຸມັດທີ່ດິນສພຳປະທານໃຫ້ບໍລິສັດຢູ່ໃນເຂດທ້ອງຖິ່ນ ແຕ່ບໍລິສັດເຮັດຕາມໃຈ ບໍ່ຮັບຟັງອຳນາດ ການປົກຄອງທ້ອງຖິ່ນ ເນື່ອງຈາກເປັນໂຄງການທີ່ໄດ້ຮັບອະນຸມັດຈາກລັດຖະບານ, ທາງລັດຖະບານຈະມີວິທີແກ້ໄຂ ແລະ ມາດຕະການຈັດຕັ້ງປະຕິບັດຄືແນວໃດ?.
ຕໍ່ກັບບັນຫາດັ່ງກ່າວ ທ່ານ ທອງລຸນ ສີສຸລິດ ນາຍົກລັດຖະມົນຕີ ໄດ້ຊີ້ແຈງຕໍ່ບັນດາ ສສຊ ວ່າ: ບັນຫານການສຳປະທານທີ່ດິນໃຫ້ແກ່ບໍລິສັດລົງທຶນພາຍໃນ ແລະ ຕ່າງປະເທດທີ່ລັດຖະບານ ຫຼື ແຂວງໄດ້ອະນຸມັດ ປັດຈຸບັນມີຫຼາຍບໍລິສັດໄດ້ຮັບອະນຸຍາດ ສຳປະທານແຕ່ບໍ່ປະຕິບັດຕາມລະບຽບກົດໝາຍ, ລະບຽບການທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງ, ສັນຍາສຳປະທານ ແລະ ອື່ນໆ; ການບຸກເບີກເນື້ອທີ່ ບໍ່ໄດ້ຮັບອະນຸມັດກໍ່ມີ, ລ່ວງລໍ້າກໍ່ມີ, ກວມເອົາດິນຂອງປະຊາຊົນ, ການພັດທະນາບໍ່ໄປຕາມກຳນົດເວລາ ແລະ ເງືື່ອນໄຂຂອງສັນຍາສຳປະທານ ແລະ ອື່ນໆ.
ທ່ານກ່າວຕື່ມວ່າ: ບັນຫາດັ່ງກ່າວນີ້ແມ່ນມີມາແຕ່ດົນ, ລັດຖະບານຊຸດຜ່ານໆມາກໍ່ໄດ້ພະຍາຍາມແກ້ໄຂ ແຕ່ວ່າຍັງຫຼາຍອັນທີ່ຈະຕ້ອງໄດ້ສືບຕໍ່ແກ້ໄຂ. ລັດຖະບານໄດ້ນຳເອົາບັນຫາທີ່ດິນຂື້ນມາເພື່ອສຶກສາຄົ້ນຄວ້າວ່າ: ການປະຕິບັດກົດໝາຍທີ່ດິນຂອງພວກເຮົາມີ ຈຸດດີ, ຈຸດອ່ອນ ແລະ ຂໍ້ບົກຜ່ອງແນວໃດ? ເຊິ່ງມີຫຼາຍຂໍ້ຈຸດອ່ອນ ແລະ ຂໍ້ບົກຜ່ອງ, ບັນຫາທີ່ຟົດຮ້ອນກໍ່ຄື: ແຂວງມີສິດອະນຸຍາດເທົ່ານັ້ນ ແຕ່ປະຕິບັດຈິງແມ່ນກາຍກັບໂຕທີ່ກຳນົດ, ຕະຫຼອດຮອດເມືອງ ແລະ ບ້ານກໍ່ມີສິດເຊັນໃຫ້ສຳປະທານທີ່ດິນເປັນຕົ້ນ.
ສ່ວນນັດທຸລະກິດສຳປະທານທີ່ດິນ ແຕ່ບໍ່ພັດທະນາຕາມສັນຍາໃຫ້ທ້ອງຖິ່ນລາຍງານຕໍ່ ລັດຖະບານໃຫ້ລົງໄປແກ້ໄຂ ແຕ່ບັນຫາເກີດຂື້ນຜ່ານມານັກລົງທຶນທີ່ໄດ້ສຳປະທານເຂົາເຈົ້າບໍ່ເຄົາລົບການຈັດຕັ້ງທ້ອງຖິ່ນ ເນື່ອງຈາກລັດຖະບານເປັນຜູ້ອະນຸມັດ.
Source: Vientiane Times,5May,2017
Fifteen mining operations have had their concessions revoked after investors failed to implement their projects as agreed after they were granted concessions by the government.
Speaking at the ongoing ordinary session of the National Assembly last week, Minister of Energy and Mines DrKhammanyInthirath said “Some companies just held [concessions without implementing them] purely in order to resell them.”
The government suspended consideration of new mining projects a few years ago, saying it wanted to take steps to better regulate the mining industry after learning that a number of projects had failed to observe the agreements they had signed with the government.
DrKhammany said his officials began carrying out inspections in 2016 and found that almost 20 mining operations were not in compliance with the agreements and stood to lose their concessions.
The findings were submitted to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, which subsequently annulled the concessions previously awarded to 15 projects.
The fate of other projects that comply poorly with agreements is currently under consideration, DrKhammany added.
As of 2016, some 657 companies had been granted permission to carry out surveys and excavation as part of 942 projects. Of these, 226 companies had been authorised by the central government to undertake 392 projects.
Since 2003, when investment in mining began, until 2016, the sale value of mineral commodities exceeded US$13 billion with almost US$2 billion in taxes and royalties paid to the government, DrKhammany said.
He added that the mining sector had boomed and generated huge revenues from 2011-2016 driven by the spiralling of commodity prices on the world market, especially gold and copper, in 2012. The sale value of mining products from 2011-2016 hit US$8.8 billion with US$1.2 billion in taxes paid. Prior to that, from 2003-2010, the sale value of mining products was just US$4.3 billion with US$688 million paid in taxes.
DrKhammany said the sale value of minerals took a dive in 2016 when commodity prices on the world market slumped, including gold and copper.
In the first nine months of 2016, the sale value was just US$964 million, generating only US$41 million in taxes.
“The sale value [of mineral products] for the whole of 2016 was less than US$100 million. The sale value depends on the market price of minerals,” DrKhammany said.
Source: Vientiane Times
Date: May 3, 2017
By Time Reporter
Over 20 new investment projects worth millions of US dollars have been proposed to Khammuan provincial authorities by Vietnamese entrepreneurs, pending official approval.
A senior official from the Khammuan provincial Department of Planning and Investment, MrXaysanaKhotphouthone, told Vientiane Times yesterday that Vietnamese investment is booming in Khammuan, notably in the mining sector.
“The 20 new proposals submitted by Vietnamese investors are mega projects worth millions of dollars and we are considering various aspects of their proposals, particularly funding,” MrXaysana said.
“There are two main reasons why Vietnamese are coming to invest here. One is that Khammuan has abundant mineral resources including potassium, lead and gold. The second is that Laos and Vietnam are neighbours, which makes the import-export process easier.”
Vietnam is currently ranked the second largest foreign investor in Khammuan after China. So far, 19 investment projects worth over US$500 million have been carried out by the Vietnamese.
Most of their investments are in the mining sector, particularly the excavation of potassium, lead and other minerals.
However, timber for export is one sector that has become unpopular since the province enforced the Prime Minister’s Order No. 15 issued on May 13. The order bans the export of all types of unfinished wood products including timber and logs, and is considered a significant move in the battle to clamp down on the illicit timber trade.
While the mining sector is increasingly popular among foreign investors in the province, agriculture has not grown as anticipated with only a few investors building factories to process crops for export.
Critics say it’s vital to create more favourable conditions and incentives to increase investment and exports in the agriculture sector as this would drive economic growth in the long run since minerals will one day be exhausted.
In the recent past, investment from Vietnam decreased slightly as many entrepreneurs encountered financial difficulties, affecting the sector.
During the first visit made by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc last week in response to an invitation from his Lao counterpart MrThonglounSisoulith, the two premiers witnessed the signing of nine agreements.
One of those agreements was the signing of the VungAng seaport development joint venture in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province.
Deputy Head of the Khammuan provincial Administrative Office, MrVannavongVongphachanh, said minerals from Khammuan were mainly exported through the VungAng port to Vietnam and China.
This is the shortest route to a seaport from Laos. Since the opening of the third Friendship Bridge in November 2011, linking Thakhaek district in Khammuan province to Thailand’s NakhonPhanom province across the Mekong, more goods have been transported along this route.
Source: Vientiane Times, April 28, 2017
The government will use tougher measures to regulate concession projects by withdrawing land if no progress is made on the proposed project, while also pushing for authorities at various levels to participate in the process.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on behalf of the government made the promise yesterday in response to National Assembly (NA) members’ queries concerning issues surrounding land concessions, which were raised at the ongoing debate session.
The government acknowledged that many concession projects have been awarded, but investors often did not fulfill their obligations with regard to the contract and relevant laws. Many acquired land for the purpose of handing it over to other investors, thereby making a profit.
“If an investor who has been given a concession is found not to proceed with the stated project in the time frame agreed, I ask local authorities to actively investigate and report their findings to the government,” Prime Minister Thongloun said.
He urged the relevant ministries to urgently take action when they received a report indicating possible misconduct.
The issue of investors refusing to obey the requests of local authorities was also raised by Assembly members. In response, Mr Thongloun said concession deals and other development project agreements made at the central or local level must be signed off by local authorities.
Also up for discussion was encroachment onto state land by investors in addition to the land area stated in the concession contract.
“In this case, local authorities have the right to use measures directly to prevent encroachment at the first stage before it continues any further. The authorities should not wait for orders from the government,” Mr Thongloun said. “If local authorities are unable to influence the situation, please inform the related sector or ministry so they can deal with the matter,” he added.
Taking possession of land without putting it to good use not only delays the country’s development but denies other developers the opportunity to use land productively.
“If land is handed over and no development takes place, it will be withdrawn. I want the business sector to understand this,” the prime minister said.
“Effective investment and the implementation of development projects that follow the law will help to strengthen the economy,” he added, noting that the government would not allow a monopoly in investment, but supported competition.
Mr Thongloun told Assembly members that the government had carried out a study on the positives and negatives of the Law on Land, saying a lot of shortcomings were uncovered.
The government is improving its policies before submitting them to the Politburo, which is expected to propose a resolution by the Party Central Committee in order to tackle the issues surrounding land use, according to Mr Thongloun.
Source: Vientiane Times,April 21, 2017
Officials in charge have confirmed that Lao construction companies will benefit from the almost-US$6 billion railway project linking Vientiane to the Chinese border.
Director of the Laos-China Railway construction project and Director of the Lao National Railway Company, Dr Koung Souk-Aloun, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that a list of 59 companies has been submitted to the Chinese side for selection.
�We have sent them [the Chinese side] 59 companies, not 20 companies. The selection process is underway and hopefully Lao companies will be hired to undertake some of the work on the railroad project,� he said.
The northern province of Xayaboury has decided that as of mid-this year, no more Chinese investments in banana plantations will be allowed. Currently, there are over 520 ha of banana plantations in the province.
Chinese banana plantation investments are suspected as the cause of several problems including the over-use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides which have failed to comply with required standards, thus affecting local communities and the environment.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will this year closely monitor domestic and foreign investment in this sector as it believes that many companies have not implemented the agreements made or complied with stipulated feasibility study methods.The ministry will strictly apply management measures to investors and companies that have made no progress with their proposed projects or had an adverse impact on local communities and the environment.However, the ministry has not revealed the numbers and names of the companies concerned, the ministry reported at its annual meeting in Vientiane at the end of last year.Last year, 733 domestic and foreign companies agreed to invest in the agriculture and forestry sector in Laos with total investment of US$3.55 billion while US$1.74 billion of registered funding was allocated to land concessions on about 467,980 hectares.
Some 107 companies invested in livestock projects with funding of US$338.88 million, 345 companies invested in agriculture with funding of about US$1.22 billion, 232 companies invested in tree plantations with funding of about US$1.96 billion, and 49 companies ploughed US$34 million into service sector projects.
Vientiane Times, February 6, 2017
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has pledged to find solutions to the many land issues that have emerged and the government has formed a task force committee to investigate the problems and resolve them.
The committee will investigate land concessions, the transfer of land use rights in various cases, implementation of the government’s policy to turn assets into capital, and the occupation of land by local people among other concerns, after these issues have caused land disputes and problems.