Lao PM visits Savannakhet province and Special Economic Zone to promote investment

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and government officials last week visited the Savannakhet Dry Port and Savan Park to learn about their business operations and promote investment in these facilities.   

Prime Minister Thongloun and his delegation including Minister of Public Works and Transport, Dr Bounchanh Sinthavong, and Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Bounchom Ubonpaseuth, were welcomed by Savannakhet provincial Governor, Mr Santiphab Phomvihane; Governor of the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone, Mr Thongsay Sayavongkhamdy; Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Managing Director of Savan Logistics Co., Ltd., Mr Daovone Phachanthavong; Chief Operating Officer of Savan Logistics, Mr Jean Pierre Grzelczyk; and General Manager of Savan Park,  Mr Tee Chee Seng; along with local authorities and site officials.

Mr Thongloun first viewed the operations of the Savannakhet Dry Port and also the Customs One Stop Office, where he met with the site’s officials.

The current route map of road transport availability from China to Singapore through the Savannakhet Dry Port was reported to the prime minister. The dry port has now been operational for three consecutive years since July 2016.

A site official told the prime minister that a total of 34,990 trucks arrived in Savannakhet province via Mukdahan province in Thailand from January to July 2019. However, only 10,823, or 31 percent of these trucks, used the services of the Savannakhet Dry Port. The remaining 69 percent made use of unofficial areas.

Since the Savannakhet Dry Port began operations in 2016, the number of trucks using its services is recorded below:

The above numbers show there are still huge numbers of trucks that are not using the government-recommended area.

US$4,414,752.29 (LAK 37,303,776,248) is being contributed to the Lao government from tax collection. All of this income was generated from July 2016 to July 2019. This revenue comprises government fees and VAT on transport from the Savannakhet Dry Port.

Prime Minister Thongloun said that generating US$5 million annually from VAT and other government fees should not be a challenge if the remaining 69 percent of operations shifted to the Savannakhet Dry Port. He therefore instructed all logistics operators to fully use the facilities and services at the Savannakhet Dry Port, saying this was the only way the relevant ministries could keep track of tax collection and other income due to the government.

Assuming that all logistics operators fully utilise the facilities at the Savannakhet Dry Port there would be 150 trucks each day entering the port. This could generate about US$437,000 from transport VAT (this figure excludes other charges such as import duty), according to the Savannakhet Dry Port.

On the same occasion, Mr Thongloun visited a factory operated by the Japanese Misuzu Lao Co., Ltd., which manufactures coaxial cable, cable for solar panel boards and other types of cable. All of the products made at this factory are labelled “Made in Laos” and are exported. Product with “Made in Laos” status enjoy many incentives overseas.