Many more companies are planning to invest in special and specific economic zones (SEZs) in Laos after witnessing the potential to benefit from the coming regional integration, according to a recent report.
More than 213 companies are now investing in the zones, with total registered capital of US$4.2 billion (Bt148 billion), in addition to future investment plans of $17.39 billion.
Of the total figure, more than $1.19 billion has already been spent on development activities at the zones, according to the latest report from the Laotian National Committee for Special Economic Zones. The largest number of foreign companies investing in the zones are from China (95 companies), followed by Thailand (17), Japan (14), Vietnam (5) and Malaysia (5).
A total of 43 per cent of their investment is in the service sector, 30 per cent is in the industrial sector and the rest is in the trading-related sector.
Nikon, a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo, has decided to establish a new factory in the Savan-Seno SEZ to reinforce its manufacturing organisation for digital-SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras and to reduce costs.
Toyota and other leading companies from the region are also establishing factories in Laos.
The SEZs are attracting the interest not only of foreign entrepreneurs but also of local companies. Currently, Laotian companies account for 22 per cent of the total investment in the zones.