Lao overseas ambassadors visit Savan Park and Savannakhet Dry Port

LAO PDR (Vientiane Times) - Authorities of the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone (SEZA) Authority Office, Savan Park and Savannakhet Dry Port last Friday welcomed a site visit by Lao ambassadors and overseas consulate officials to observe the investment climate in the zone.

A group photo is taken with Mr Thongsavanh Phomvihane and delegates upon their arrival at the Savannakhet Dry Port on December 20.

The delegation was led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Thongsavanh Phomvihane. The ambassadors are heads of diplomatic missions in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Cuba, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the Lao ambassador to ASEAN. The consulate staff hold posts in China’s Changsha, Changzhou, Guangzhao and Nanning, along with Khon Kaen province in Thailand and Stung Treng in Cambodia.

The delegation was welcomed by the Governor of the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone Authority, Mr Thongsay Sayavongkhamdy. Also present on the occasion were the Deputy Governor of Savannakhet province, Mr Thonekeo Phoutthakayalath, and General Manager of Savan Park, Mr Tee Chee Seng.

The field trip not only provided the ambassadors and consulate staff with the latest information on investment in the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone and Savannakhet Dry Port, but will also enable them to promote investment opportunities when they return to their posts overseas.

The site visit was arranged in conjunction with their participation at the recent 14th Foreign Affairs Meeting organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and chaired by the foreign minister Mr Saleumxay Kommasith.

During the group’s visit to the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone and Savannakhet Dry Port, Mr Tee Chee Seng reported on the investment climate in the zone and highlighted the efficiency of Savannakhet Dry Port.

Mr Tee described the efficiency of the investment process, saying the SEZA One Stop Service system can issue an investment license within five working days, and can process work permits, stay permits, multiple entry visas, and country of origin certificates in a short space of time.

“Additionally, investors in the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone enjoy tax breaks offered by the Lao government as well as other incentives given to Laos by foreign countries,” he said. The authorities reported that there was an adequate workforce in the province and that at least 4,000 Lao workers were employed in the zone.

Mr Tee also said that at least 6,800 new graduates seek employment in the zone each year. “We can assure you that there are sufficient workers to meet the needs of the SSEZ and there is an increasingly significant number of skilled workers as local workers are fast learners,” he told the visiting delegation.

Mr Tee also briefed the visitors about the Savannakhet Dry Port, which is the first dry port in Laos after the country’s ratification of the United Nations Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Port on November 5, 2019, enabling the Lao PDR to officially become the 14th State Party to the agreement on December 6, 2019.

The dry port is equipped with facilities such as a One Stop Service office with customs personnel, along with SEZA officers and dry port staffers, who are always on duty to provide customers with all necessary assistance. Meanwhile, road freight services provided from China to Singapore are available, with only three days from China to Savan Park and a further four days from Savan Park to Singapore.

This means Laos is on the move to the new era of logistics and can deal with multi-modal logistics instead of conventional logistics. Mr Tee also said “Laos’ logistics is moving from “impossible to I M possible” because of the efficiency, transparency and high technology provided by the Savannakhet Dry Port.”

Following their tour of the SSEZ and Savannakhet Dry Port, the Lao ambassadors and consulate officials are expected to introduce Laos to the outside world as being no longer a land-locked country, thanks to the integration and efficiency of the logistics services provided by the Savannakhet Dry Port in central Laos.