Saysettha Development Zone to promote buiding of China-Laos community with a shared future

Updated: November 5, 2022 Source: China Merchants Group
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Covering an area of 11.5 square kilometers, Saysettha Development Zone in Laos (hereinafter referred to as the Development Zone) is located in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The vantage of the Development Zone lies in the fact that it is 1.5 kilometers away from the China-Laos Railway Freight Station and 17 kilometers away from the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge Customs. It was co-invested and developed by Yunnan Construction and Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd. and Vientiane Municipal Government of Laos in October 2010, and is operated and managed by China Merchants Group. The Development Zone is a key cooperation project between the governments of China and Laos, a national-level overseas economic and trade cooperation zone for China and a national-level special economic zone for Laos, and is included in the "Action Plan on Building a China-Laos Community with a Shared Future". The Development Zone adheres to the development mode of "city-industry integration", and plans the functions of the industrial park and Vientiane New City, with a planned total investment of about 5 billion U.S. dollars.

Park planning and design (by courtesy of China Merchants Group)

Belt and Road Initiative in line with Laos' development strategy

Laos is located in the hinterland of ASEAN and borders China, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. Laos is not only a member of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA), but also a member of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Trade between China and Laos has grown rapidly in recent years, with strong economic complementarity and great potential for cooperation. The annual growth rate of industry in Laos reaches about 8.3 percent, and the rapid growth of industry mainly comes from the new factories set up in various special economic zones.

In August 2018, Saysettha Park Operation Management Company was established. At the invitation of the shareholders of the park, China Merchants Group began to lead the operation and management of Saysettha Development Zone, which is also the beginning of a new model for China Merchants Group to export management experience of overseas industrial parks.

On March 17, 2019, President Boungnang Vorachith of Laos said during his visit to Saysettha Development Zone that many enterprises investing in Laos are interested in the development zone, hoping to build the development zone into a green, sustainable and prosperous development zone, to promote local economic development and improve the living standards of local people. The connection between the Belt and Road Initiative and the strategy of "turning land-locked country into land-linked hub" will bring more tangible benefits to people of the two countries.

From 2018 to the end of 2020, the operating company successfully introduced 44 projects with a planned investment of 540 million U.S. dollars, providing more than 3,500 jobs in Vientiane. By the end of October 2022, the total number of enterprises in the park had reached 118, in which 57 had been completed and put into operation, strongly promoting the economic development of Saysettha Park and local areas.

HOYA Group, a leading enterprise in the industry, officially signed a contract to settle in Saysettha Development Zone in 2018. (Photo provided by China Merchants Group)

China-Laos cooperation in construction of low-carbon demonstration zone in capital of Laos

On July 16, 2020, China and Laos signed a memorandum of understanding on the cooperative construction of Saysettha low-carbon demonstration zone in Vientiane, and decided to rely on Saysettha Development Zone in Laos to carry out the construction of Saysettha low-carbon demonstration zone in Vientiane to address climate change issues. This is also one of the cooperation projects of "10 low-carbon demonstration zones" carried out by China in developing countries, and an important action to practice the value concept of "adhering to green and low-carbon, building a clean and beautiful world" as a community with a shared future for mankind.

Guided by the low-carbon development plan, Saysettha low-carbon demonstration zone promotes the transformation of low-carbon lifestyle with low-carbon transportation, improves the level of green infrastructure construction with low-carbon lighting, enhances Laos' ability to cope with climate change and its awareness of low-carbon development with low-carbon capacity building, technical exchanges and publicity activities, and promotes green and sustainable development from both "soft and hard" aspects. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China has prepared the construction plan of the low-carbon demonstration zone, jointly with related departments of Laos, and has donated low-carbon and environmental protection materials such as solar LED street lamps, new energy buses, new energy trucks, new energy environmental law enforcement vehicles and environmental monitoring equipment to Laos to promote the construction of the Saysettha Low-carbon Demonstration Zone and provided support for Laos to cope with climate change.

Overview of Saysettha Development Zone (Photo provided by China Merchants Group)

Editor: Yu Huichen