March 01, 2017 01:00 By VIENTIANE TIMES ASIA NEWS NETWORK KHON KAEN
LAO GROUP HOLDS TALKS IN KHON KAEN, FOCUS ON COOPERATION, AEC INTEGRATION
REPRESENTATIVES from Laos’ Phongsavanh Group discussed business proposals during a recent visit to Khon Kaen.
Phongsavanh plans to expand its business cooperation and investment in the province, as part of Laos’ integration within the Asean Economic Community.
Group representatives visited Khon Kaen from February 15-17, led by chairman Od Phongsavanh, to meet officials and discuss business aspects of cooperation and development in tourism, property, human resources, healthcare, aviation, banking and finance.
During the visit, group’s shareholder committee chairman, Somboun Phongsavanh, said they wanted to study opportunities for business cooperation and investment in Khon Kaen, where they hope to expand business growth to other countries.
In the tourism sector, officials from Phongsavanh Bank and Khon Kaen Zoo signed an agreement, planning to offer discounts for Lao nationals visiting the zoo. The bank’s customers can use their ATM or credit cards to get a discount of 30 per cent on entry tickets.
“The agreement will run for one year to see if it is successful and the bank will also enter into further agreements with other zoos in Thailand,” Somboun said.
In property investment, the group expects to cooperate with a major Thai property investor, Isaan Piman Group Co Ltd, on a condominium development in Thailand.
The group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Isaan Piman at the E-San Industrial Fair 2017 in Khon Kaen. The MoU will allow Phongsavanh to conduct a feasibility study on condominium investment in the province.
Od said that once the development starts, the condominium investment value will include Phongsavanh's 49 per cent and the rest will belong to Isaan Piman.
In medical services, the group signed an MoU with Khon Kaen Ram hospital on cooperation in ambulance services and for staff training.
This cooperation will result in help for people involved in accidents and the project will have both vehicles for the initial or basic assistance/rescue team and vehicles for the advanced assistance team. The advanced rescue team will be able to provide care the same as a small hospital.
“This cooperation will be a non-profit service project. It will be a new community social assistance,” Somboun said.
The group also attended the E-San Industrial Fair 2017 and is the only business operator from Laos to exhibit the group’s success, growth, capacity and activities.
The group’s participation in the fair was aimed at sharing experiences in business operations with Thai business operators and participants. At the fair, the Thai government presented a Business Award and Certificate of Honour to the Phongsavanh Group for supporting the fair.
The group also met officials from the Bank of Thailand’s Northeastern Region Office, to discuss business cooperation and investment opportunities between the two countries.
Cooperation between the group and Khon Kaen University over past years has seen students from the university take up placements at the group’s companies, while Phongsavanh staff have benefited from hands-on practice at the university.
They have also provided scholarships for Lao nationals to study at Khon Kaen University in a bid to develop quality human resources.
Over the past three decades, Phongsavanh Group has grown steadily under the founder's vision of conducting a profitable business enterprise, while helping to improve people's quality of life.
The group has grown remarkably since it diversified into various business sectors including the timber industry, telecommunications, trading, construction, banking and finance, mining, oil and petroleum products, airlines, franchises, innovation, convenience stores, logistics and insurance.
The group has participated in the socio-economic development of Laos.
It is a donor to ministries, organisations and grassroots groups and has assisted in times of natural disaster such as drought and flooding, as well as supporting national sports activities and important events.
To apply the ruling party’s Three Builds directive, the group supported the policy by providing loans at low interest rates to farmers to ease poverty.
“People are happy with the work we do and it inspires more confidence in the government,” Phongsavanh officials said.
Regarding coordination with foreign countries, the group has links with Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Russia and Dubai in trade and investment.
It has representative offices in Vietnam, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar.