East West economic corridor brings results

Date: 15, Apr, 2016   Time: 9:16 am

By implementing decisions of the previous 9th party congress, east-west economic corridor integration has been achieved greatly contributing to Savannakhet province’s social and economic growth, according to the governor.

Savannakhet Governor, Dr Souphanh Keomixay, reported to the 10th party congress this week that based on its strategic location and continually implementing the government stimulus policy, implementation of the east- west economic corridor was progressing well and bringing tangible results.

This was creating and foreign investors and strongly contributing to the growth of socio-economic development in the province.

GDP growth increased from 10 percent in 2010 to 12.5 percent in 2015, with annual average GDP per capita going from US$897 per person in 2010 to US$1,785 last year.

Foreign investment amounted to US$5.2 billion last year, which is a 58 percent increase compared to five years ago. Currently the province has 160 investment projects from more than 20 countries.

Numerous modern industrial factories have set up in the Savan-Seno special economic zone, Dansavan the special zone. These are involved in manufacturing: Japanese camera parts, French sunglasses, Korea vehicles, Toyota spare parts, aviation spare parts, telecommunication equipment, and other vital products.

Freight and passenger vehicles crossing Savannakhet- Mukdahan Friendship Bridge and Dansavan border (Lao-
Viet) increased from 77,800 vehicles in 2006 to 216,700 vehicles in 2015.

The value of imports and exports at the Savannakhet- Mukdahan Friendship Bridge reached US$1.341 billion last year while the number of tourists increased from  435,900 in 2006 to about 1 million in 2015.

Exports for the five years (2011 to 2015) reached US$3.6 billion, and imports US$1.2 billion, while revenue collection was over the plan each year by about 18 percent to 20 percent.

The electricity grid has gradually been developed to provide sufficient supply for industrial needs and to expand into remote areas, with over 80 percent of villages presently being able to access electricity covering 87.8 percent of all households.

With socio-economic development growth, poverty has been reduced. Presently, throughout the province there are only 149 poor villages, which is about 14.6 percent of the total.

There are 8,633 poor households or 5.3percent of the province’s total with only the districts of Xepon and Nong identified as poor.

The governor added that implementing east-west economic corridor integration still faced challenges that needed to be continuously addressed, such as socio- economic infrastructure, the lack of financial resources, technology, labour force issues, the competitive abilities of businesses, and the quality of management.

For the next five year plan, the province will focus on resolving issues to ensure better results based on the government’s directions.

Source: Vientiane Times Issue 17 (21 January 2016)