Source: Vientiane Times
The Embassy of Malaysia and the Malaysian Business Chamber Lao PDR (MBCL) are hopeful that the value of investment in Champassak province by Malaysian investors will rise beyond the current figure of US$540 million.
As part of efforts to fulfil this projection, the embassy and MBCL co-organised a Business and Charity Tour to the province to build ties between the Embassy of Malaysia, MBCL and the Champassak business community, which took place from from October 30 to November 1.
The visit was designed to view the operations of Malaysian businesses established in Champassak province as well as embark on CSR activities by visiting two rural schools in Paksong district. The delegation, led by Malaysian Ambassador to Laos His Excellency Mohd Aini Atan, took the opportunity to visit the Japan SME SEZ in Pakse city as well as paying a courtesy call on the Governor of Champassak province, Dr. Vilayvong Bouddakham.
In Pakse city, the delegation met with the Champassak Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the strengthening of business ties between Malaysian and Champassak companies. The two parties agreed to work together in the fields of agriculture, logistics and biogas. The embassy and Malaysian businesses agreed to extend the assistance by providing courses and experties on SMEs and banking. The group also went to the Pakse Japan SME Special Economic Zone where they were briefed on the establishment of the zone and toured two factories, namely the Kendi wear factory and children’s wear factory, which are situated side by side.
The delegation then visited the Paksong Km11 Primary School and Paksong Km12 Primary School in Paksong district as part of the CSR program. They handed over stationery, snacks, new and used clothes for the children, and shoe bags for teachers and school staff. As part of teh CSR activity, Public Bank Berhad (Vientiane branch) contributed six refurbished computers to the schools.
The owner of the Delta Coffee Farm and Nursery, Mr. Alan Wong, a Malaysian businessman, then took the delegation on a tour of the coffee farm and nursey in Paksong district. The coffee farm is solely and fully owned by Mr. Alan Wong, who established it in 2000 on 200 hectares on the Bolaven Plateau with an investment of US$500,000. His coffee products are marketed to Vientiane and the provinces of Champassak and Luang Prabang, as well as being exported to Thailand and Taiwan. Some 20 tons of Delta Coffee are sold to Taiwan each year. The plantation doubles as a grazing area for cattle with 200 livestock for domestic consumption at present, Mr. Wong told the visitors.
Another landmark visit was was to the Paksong Floriculture and Agriculture Farm, which is fully owned by Mr. Wong Peng Kiew, established in 2001 with an initial investment of US$350,000. About 85% of its flowers are exported to Thailand and the rest are sold in Laos. The farm is on a site of about 1.5 hectares and is equipped with greenhouses.
The delegation also visited the Agro Wege Farm, which was established less than a year ago by a group of Malaysian business people from the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. The group has invested a total of US$3 million. Then premises are very well planned and the farm grows organic vegetables for the Lao market.
On the final day, Malaysian Ambassador H.E Mohd Aini Atan called on the Governor of Champassak province, Dr. Vilayvong Bouddakham, at the Governor’s Office in Pakse city. The visiting delegation consisted of the Counsellor at the Embassy of Malaysia Ms. Rafiqa Hazura Ridzuan, MBCL President Mr. Tee Chee Seng, and other MBCL members representing various Malaysian business entities such as Savan Park SEZ, Don Sahong Hydropower, Public Bank Berhad, Tan Chong Motors, and SCK Group – a biogas company and LED lights provider.
Those taking part in the meeting expressed interest and hope that Malaysian and Champassak business would benefit from the strong relations and engagement in the province. Currently, the value of Malaysian investments in Champassak province amounts to US$540 million. It is expected that investment will continue to increase following the success of organic vegetable farms and coffee farms in expanding their markets beyond Laos.
Building on the huge success of the business and charity visit to Champassak province, both parties agree to work closely together to increase trade and investment and build capacity.
Biogas is produced when organic matter biodegrades under anaerobic conditions (that is, in the absence of oxygen).