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Posts Tagged ‘Luang Prabang’

Demarcation complete, Luang Prabang eyes investment to push SEZ project ahead

Source: Vientiane Times, June 26, 2017
http://vientianetimes.org.la/FreeContent/FreeConten_Demarcation_145.html
Development of a US$1.2 billion special economic zone (SEZ) in Luang Prabang province has faced delays attributed to project demarcation now completed while its developer seeks further investment and financial backing.
The plans for the zone include a 23-storey building, schools, hospitals, shopping centre, bank, hotels, restaurants and residences including homes and advanced nursing care for older people.
The SEZ is designed to create a modern conurbation for the provincial capital while ensuring the ongoing preservation of the old town.
The government signed an agreement on the zone with the country’s own Phousy Group in January last year, allowing the company to establish this project in Luang Prabang province.
Areas for organic vegetable production also feature in the plan.
Speaking to Vientiane Times on Friday, Deputy Director of the Luang Prabang provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Mr Bounsom Thatsavong said that construction activity had not been carried out in the zone so far.
“The zone is still vegetated as it has been,” he said.
“Nevertheless, the developer has completed demarcating the project site.”
He said the developer would be looking for further partners to develop the SEZ zone since it requires an enormous amount of capital to carry out.
He did not confirm when construction would begin or particulars of the financial backing and investment sourced to date.
“Our authorities have tried to push for the project’s progress which should contribute to boosting the economic growth in our province,” Mr Bounsom said.
Earlier this year, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Sonexay Siphandone visited the project site during a visit to the northern provinces.
Mr Sonexay saw firsthand the extent of development so far and the location of the site where a bridge will be built across the Mekong to link the three zones incorporated in the SEZ.
People in the area currently use ferries to cross the Mekong between the town of Luang Prabang and Chomphet district for travel and business.
The zone is about 10km outside Luang Prabang town centre with another site in Chomphet district on the other side of the Mekong River.
With a concession period of 99 years, the initial project proposal comprised an area of 4,850 hectares in the two districts.
A portion was found to overlap with the world heritage site, resulting in a revision in size to about 4500 hectares, Mr Bounsom said.
The government hopes the project will catalyse economic growth in the province and generate further job opportunities for local people.
A one-stop operating service is to be introduced for businesses in the zone to ensure transparency and accountability and to facilitate development.
The site is set to help the province overcome development constraints and preserve the old town of Luang Prabang, home to Laos’ first World Heritage Site and considered a magnet for domestic and international tourists in an increasingly interconnected region.
By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update June 26, 2017)

Xayaboury Suspends Banana Farms

Source: Lao News Agency (KPL), 26/5/2017

http://kpl.gov.la/En/Detail.aspx?id=24794

Phouthong Sivongsa

(KPL) ‘Xayaboury authorities have permanently suspended plantations of aroma bananas totally sized more than 360 ha, and plan to grow alternative cash crops to replace banana farming.’

The Planning and Cooperation Division under the Xayaboury Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department told local media on May 24 that the Xayaboury Governor issued an order suspending aroma banana farming and banning further expansion of banana farms last year.

Illegal gold mining in Xieng Khuang ends

Vientiane Times, 26 Sept 2014

Unlicensed gold mining in Xieng Khuang province has come to a halt after the authorities set up measures to control this illegal activity. The controllers have done a good job in stopping the illicit gold digging in the area, Deputy Governor Mr Khamphien Sinounthong told local media in Vientiane during a meeting between the government cabinet, Vientiane mayor and provincial governors, which ran from Monday to Wednesday. Six years ago there were many groups of illegal miners working the streams, rivers, forests and mountain areas, digging up the ground and extracting the occasional nugget. It did great damage to the environment when these people poured in because the illegal work they were doing created heavily polluted water resources in the area and destroyed forests.

Ministry confirms compensation for villagers affected by Luang Prabang airport

Vientiane Times, 28 July 2014

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has confirmed that all villagers affected by the Luang Prabang airport expansion project will receive compensation.

Deputy Director General of the Land Administration Department Mr Anothai Chanthalasy on behalf of the ministry responded to a question raised by affected families in Phakhom village in Luang Prabang province.

The villagers said they have proposed to relevant authorities to pay their compensation but the issue has yet to be addressed despite the airport project having already been completed.

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