Cao Thi Phi Van, Deputy Director of the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) of Ho Chi Minh City, said Vietnam is now one of the biggest foreign investors in Laos.
Enterprises from the southern economic hub of HCM City have actively invested in the field of agriculture and forestry, she said, adding that in 2017 alone, 36 businesses from the city poured over US$40 million into projects in Laos.
The workshop creates a chance for investors in Vietnam and HCM City in particularly to explore investment opportunities in the Lao special economic zone, thus further promoting trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
Thongsay Sayavongkhamdy, Director of the management board of the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone, said Savan Seno is the first special economic zone of Laos. It was established in 2003 in Savannakhet province which is considered a centre of trade, investment and services in the central region of Laos.
The economic zone is located on Highway 9 connecting Vietnam, Laos and Thailand on the East-West Economic Corridor, linking with China in the north and Cambodia in the south through Highway 13, he said.
Thanks to favourable transport conditions, Savan Seno is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investment in Laos, he added.
Covering nearly 1,000 hectares, the economic zone is calling for investments in the fields of production, services and trade, food and farm produce processing, bronze and timber products, automobile and motorbike assembling, garment-textile, footwear and handbag.
Regarding services, investors are encouraged to pour capital in banking, insurance and finance; logistics and distribution; international schools and hospitals; amusement parks, workshops and training; hotels, spa, restaurants and tourism centres.
The management board also appeals for investment in tax-free areas, wholesale and re-export centres, as well as trade and exhibition centres.
Businesses investing in the economic zone will enjoy tariff preferences such as incorporate tax exemption for 2-10 years and customs clearance for all imported materials for production to export.
Investors could lease land with a maximum duration of 75 years and enjoy exemption of land rental in 12 years.
Another advantage of the economic zone is the implementation of the one-stop-shop mechanism for all procedures related to operation licences, tax registration, import-export licences, certificates of origin, and construction licenses.
Additionally, the management board will support investors in labour recruitment and licenses, visa application, and registration of temporary residence, electricity and water usage.