Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

Posts Tagged ‘Khammouane’

Vietnamese investment in Khammuan booming

Source: Vientiane Times
Date: May 3, 2017
By Time Reporter
http://vientianetimes.la/FreeContent/FreeConten_Vietnamese.html
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.

Government increases the number of rice bowls to 10

KPL, 3 October 2014

The government has added eight more provinces to its list of main rice bowls in the country increasing rice farmland to 800,000 ha from previously 600,000 ha. With the addition of eight provinces to the list of main rice bowls by the government, there are 10 provinces across the country where rice farming is a priority. These include Khammuan, Savannakhet , Saravan, Champassak, Borikhamxay, Vientiane, Vientiane Capital, Bokeo, Xayaboury and Luang Namtha.

Khammuan residents accuse project of unfair compensation

Vientiane Times, 6 August 2014

A resident of Khammuan province in central Laos has accused Phoukhiew Specific Economic Zone Project of providing unfair compensation to villagers who lost houses and land to make way for the project. However a senior government official has confirmed that the compensation was given in accordance with accepted principles.

The resident raised the issue through the hotline of the National Assembly (NA)’s ordinary session that ended recently, calling for the NA to inspect the issue. The resident stated that the private investment project has provided only residential lands but lands for cultivation activities were not provided as part of the compensation package.

Illegal logging spurred by neighbouring countries timber demand endangers forests

Vientiane Times, 15 May 2014

Forests in Laos are being put under threat by surging demand for timber in neighbouring countries, despite the government’s efforts to deal with the problem. In April alone, authorities seized more than 200 cubic metres of timber and wood products in the middle and southern provinces of Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan and Xekong, according to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Changes to Golden Triangle SEZ agreement proposed

Vientiane Times, 30 April 2014

Government officials and Chinese developers met in Vientiane yesterday to discuss draft amendments to the agreement on the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bokeo province. The move comes after the two sides found the previous agreement was inappropriate and did not reflect the current situation of the country. Both sides wanted to revise the agreement to ensure that it was fair to the government, the developers and local people.

Officials seize illegal timber in Khammuan

Vientiane Times, 23 July 2013

Customs officials in Khammuan province recently announced they confiscated illegal wood worth over 238 million kip in the first six months this year. The seized timber consists of 12,000 kg of may kha young (rosewood), valued at 200 million kip, 2.6 cubic metres of may kham phi (Burmese rosewood), worth 5 million kip, and 4.2 cubic metres of may du (Pterocarpus), valued at over 33 million kip.

First community land titles issued for resettlement village in Nakai district

Vientiane Times, 28 Jan 2013

The first community land titles in Laos have been issued for the Nam Theun 2 resettlement villages in Nakai district, Khammuan province. The titles were issued in Nakai district in compliance with the concession agreement, whose aim is to ensure the permanent access and use of land and to preserve natural resources for long term development by the villages resettled by the Nam Theun 2 dam project. Along with the community land titles for agriculture and forestry land, titles were issued for community and state infrastructures.

Potassium mine in Thakhek gets the green light

Vientiane Times, February 13, 2012

The Lao government has given permission for the Vietnam Chemical Group (Vinachem) to excavate and process potassium in Khammuan province. Dr Bounthavy Sisouphanthong signs the agreement with Mr Nguyen Dinh Khang, witnessed by Lao President Choummaly Sayasone and Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang and other high-ranking officials from Laos and Vietnam.

According to a Vietnam News report, the Vinachem group will invest US $450 million in the project in Nongbong village, Thakhek district, to extract and process potassium, which is also known as kali salt. The Vietnamese company plans to excavate potassium in a 10 square kilometre area, with a concession period of 20 years which can be extended for another five years.

Japanese tree plantation company branches out

Vientiane Times, January 30, 2012

A Japanese investor, Oji Lao Plantation Forest Company, signed an agreement in Vientiane on Friday to expand its concession of state-owned land on which to plant industrial trees in Borikhamxay and Khammuan provinces. The agreement, signed with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, extends the land concession from 22,434 to 50,000 hectares.

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